CAA Play Opens on the Road for Delaware Volleyball with a Match at Towson Friday and at Penn on Saturday
September 22, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - After a slow start, mostly due to playing five teams that earned a berth into the 2010 NCAA Tournament, the University of Delaware volleyball team gets a fresh slate with starting the Colonial Athletic Association schedule this weekend.
The Blue Hens will hit the road to take on Towson on Friday to open the CAA portion of their schedule, and head to Penn to face their sixth NCAA participant this season on Saturday.
Scouting the University of Delaware Blue Hens (6-9):
Delaware is hitting its stride at the right time, winning four of its last five matches heading into CAA play.
The Hens are coming off a straight set victory over in state rival Delaware State on Tuesday, and tied New Mexico and Pittsburgh with a 2-1 record at the Pitt Blue and Gold Tournament.
Last week, Delaware defeated Temple and Kent State in straight sets before coming all the way back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat host Pittsburgh in five games. The only match the Hens dropped was a 3-1 decision to New Mexico.
Katie Hank and Alissa Alker were named to the Pitt Blue and Gold All-Tournament Team. It was Alker’s third straight All-Tournament team honor while Hank picked up her first career all-tournament team selection.
Hank etched her name in the Delaware volleyball record books with her performance against Pitt on Saturday night. She notched 31 kills in the comeback, making it the first time since 2007 that a Blue Hen tallied more than 30 kills in a match. It was the third most by a Blue Hen in program history. Renee DuFlon holds the record of 34 set in 1979.
Hank leads the team in kills with 196, and is seventh in the CAA averaging 3.50 per game.
Renee Tomko is third in the conference averaging 10.29 assists per set. Only three players in the conference average more than 10 a game.
Sophomore Cara Rosehill stands in second place in the CAA averaging 4.84 digs per set. She has amassed 271 digs on the season as the team’s libero.
As a team, Delaware sets the pace in the conference defensively standing atop the CAA with 17.87 digs per game. The Hens are also fourth in the conference in blocks, averaging 2.26 per set and second with 120 total blocks.
Scouting the Towson University Tigers (13-4):
The Tigers have won four of their last five matches including coming in second place in at the NC State Tournament, their final non-conference tournament of the season.
Towson had an eight match win streak snapped when it traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas and lost to host Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the first match of the tournament. During the streak, they swept the Battle of Baltimore Tournament, defeating Coppin State, Morgan State, UMBC and Loyola, all in straight sets.
Sophomore Katy Buck was named a Preseason All-CAA Honorable Mention this season after being named to the All-Rookie team a season ago.
Buck leads the Tigers, and the CAA with 234 kills (4.11 per set). The sophomore has committed 107 errors on 640 swings, hitting at a .198 clip.
Kirven also sits atop the CAA, averaging 11.14 assists per game in 51 sets. She has amassed 568 helpers on the season.
Defensively, Towson leads the conference by only allowing its opponents to hit .137 in 1871 attempts. Susan Gansor leads the Tigers at the net as she posts a CAA best 70 total blocks and conference second best 1.27 blocks per set. Gansor has totaled 19 solo blocks and 51 block assists in 2011.
Towson was selected to finish in a tie in seventh place in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll.
Scouting the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (4-5):
Penn has won two of their last three matches, but are coming off a 3-1 loss to William & Mary on Saturday.
The Saturday split was enough to help the Quakers take home the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational title, however.
Lauren Martin was named the tournament’s MVP while Hallie Carter was also named to the All-Tournament team. Martin tallied 33 kills between the two matches. Martin also leads the Quakers, averaging 3.31 kills per game in 36 sets. She has only committed 38 errors on 280 swings, hitting at a .289 clip.
The Quakers run the offense with two setters, as Kristin Schoonover has dished out 200 assists and Meghan Connolly has 186. Both have played all nine matches with Schoonover starting in seven of the matches.
Defensively, Dani Shepherd and Susan Stuechell lead Penn. Shepherd paces the back row with 204 digs (5.83 per set) while Stuechell holds the net with 36 total blocks (1.00 per game).
The Quakers open Ivy League play on Friday night as they travel to Princeton for a 7 p.m. matchup.
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