On the Road Again, University of Delaware Volleyball Battles Northeastern and Hofstra in CAA Action
September 29, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team remains on the road to start the Colonial Athletic Association schedule this weekend as the Hens travel to Northeastern on Friday night before heading to Hofstra on Sunday.
The Blue Hens are looking to continue the momentum swing they have going heading into the second conference weekend of the season. Delaware plays in Boston Friday at 7 p.m. before stopping in Long Island for a match with Hofstra at 1 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.
Scouting the University of Delaware Blue Hens (7-10, 0-1 CAA):
Delaware lost its opening CAA match for the first time since 2005, but have won three of its last four, and five of its last seven matches, heading into this weekend.
Last time out, the Blue Hens handled the Penn Quakers in straight sets, sweeping an opponent for the fourth time in their last five wins. The Hens have begun to turn it around after a slow 2-8 start.
Sophomore outside hitter Katie Hank has been on a tear of late, tallying 70 kills (5.00 per set) in the team’s last four matches. She has only committed 16 errors on 156 swings, hitting at a .346 clip during that span.
Starting with Pittsburgh, Hank knocked down a career-best 31 kills, hitting .435 in the come-from-behind victory. The 31 kills were the third most in program history. She tallied 16 kills (.667 attack percentage) against Delaware State, 13 kills against Towson, and 10 kills over Penn.
Hank is currently fourth in the CAA averaging 3.53 kills per game. Alissa Alker is also averaging more than three a set, knocking down 194 kills and 3.13 per game. Renee Tomko is second in the CAA in total assists (645) and third in assist average (10.40). Libero Cara Rosehill is also second in the conference in digs (294) and third in dig average (4.74).
As a team, Delaware sits atop the CAA in digs, getting to 17.79 balls per set, over 1.5 per game more than William & Mary in second place.
Scouting the Northeastern University Huskies (10-3, 0-1 CAA):
In a rematch of last season’s CAA Tournament championship match, the Huskies and Blue Hens will each be looking for their first conference victory of 2011.
The Huskies dropped their opener to Hofstra last weekend, 3-2, after jumping out to a 2-0 lead. The loss to the Pride snapped an eight-match winning streak for Northeastern.
Sophomore Janelle Tucker led Northeastern with a match-high 16 kills. She also contributed eight digs and three blocks. Despite the setback at Hofstra, Northeastern is still off to its best start under 12th-year head coach Ken Nichols. Prior to Saturday’s match, they had won 24 of their last 25 sets dating back to September 3 vs. UC Riverside.
Nicole Bishop leads the CAA with a .360 hitting percentage while Jillian Briner sits atop the conference with a 0.42 aces per game average. Freshman libero Natalie Skiba also leads the CAA, averaging 5.18 digs per set.
Tucker, a 2010 CAA Co-Rookie of the Year and CAA All-Rookie and third team member, leads the offense with 151 kills (3.36 per set). Fellow sophomore Ina Kamenova is the team leader with 266 assists, dishing out 5.91 helpers per set.
This is the 38th meeting between the two programs dating back to 1987. Following last season’s 2-0 mark, the Blue Hens have inched closer, but Northeastern still leads the all-time series 19-18.
Scouting the Hofstra University Pride (10-7, 1-0 CAA):
The Pride has not played since its come-from-behind victory over Northeastern last Saturday and comes into the weekend a winner in three of its last four matches.
The comeback marked the first time Hofstra had come back from a 2-0 deficit since September 12, 2008, when it achieved that feat against Colgate. The Pride had lost 35 straight matches when losing the first two sets.
The 10 wins so far this season match the team's entire win total from a season ago, achieving the feat in half the amount of matches.
The Pride is currently 7-0 at home in the Physical Education Building this season and started the season 7-0 before falling to Kansas State on September 9.
Nikki Kinnier leads Hofstra and is sixth in the CAA with 222 kills, averaging 3.42 a game. Libero Kylee Maneja leads the CAA with 309 digs and is second averaging 4.75 digs per set. Setter Catalina Charry is second in the conference, averaging 10.52 assists per game while handing out league-high 684 helpers.
This is the 61st meeting between the two schools as Hofstra leads the all-time series 45-16. Delaware has taken the last six meeting between the two programs, including a 3-2 victory last season.
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