Pennsylvania Bound Bobcats Prepare For Weekend Women's Volleyball Series Against St. Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-18, 0-10 NEC)
@ St. Francis (Pa.) (10-12, 6-3 NEC)
Saturday, October 27, 2012 – 1 PM
DeGol Arena – Loretto, Pa. 

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-18, 0-10 NEC)
@ Robert Morris (11-13, 7-2 NEC)
Sunday, October 28, 2012 – 1 PM
The Charles L. Sewall Center – Moon Township, Pa.

Looking For First Win

The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team hit the road for a trip in Pennsylvania in a Northeast Conference showdown over the weekend. The Bobcats will take on St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday at 1 p.m. and follow with Robert Morris on Sunday at 1 p.m. Quinnipiac is in search of their first conference victory of the season and hope to avenge their previous defeats to each team earlier this season.

Last One

The Bobcats were swept last weekend facing Fairleigh Dickinson and LIU Brooklyn but didn't go down without a fight. On Saturday Quinnipiac took on the Knights and fell in three sets, 25-18, 25-23, and 25-9. The underclassmen outside hitter duo of Tanner Celestin and Chandler Thornton accounted for over 50 percent of the team's kills. Celestin hammered eight of them to go along with five digs and two aces, while Thornton recorded seven kills and four digs. The Bobcats followed with the Black Birds on Sunday and were led by Thornton who had another strong game with 11 kills but it wasn't enough as they fell, 25-10, 25-22, and 25-20. The Northeast Conference's first-place Black Birds took down the Bobcats thanks to 20 kills from Annika Foit. Sophomore Brittanie Robinson chipped in with 22 assists, four digs and three blocks in defeat.

All-Time Against the Field

The Bobcats have had varying success against St. Francis (Pa.) as Quinnipiac holds a 6-15 overall record against the Red Flash. Quinnipiac has won three of the past five meetings against the Red Flash with all three coming at home. The Bobcats have never beaten St. Francis (Pa.) in Loretto, Pa. as they stand 0-8 all-time playing on the road against the NEC-foe. Robert Morris has been a thorn in the side of Quinnipiac since the two teams started playing one another in 1999. The Bobcats are 1-17 all-time against the Colonials with their only victory coming on Oct. 9, 2010 with a 3-1 victory at home.

Scouting the Red Flash

St. Francis (Pa.) dominated the first matchup of the season at Burt Kahn Court with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-23) straight-set victory. The Red Flash did a great job in limiting the Bobcat offense, specifically Chandler Thornton. The player with the second most kills on the team didn't record a kill in three stes in the first meeting. St. Francis (Pa.)'s Elizabeth Williams posted 12 kills, Kierstin Kiser had a game-high 34 assists, and Breanna Kochinsky contributed 10 digs in the victory. They come into the weekend winners of four-straight matches including a tightly contested 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart on the road. They stand fourth place in the NEC, currently holding a 6-3 record in conference play and 10-12 overall mark. The team ranks in the upper echelon among NEC teams in all major offensive statistical categories as they stand third in hitting percentage (.223),third in assists (12.31 per-game), third in kills (13.06 per-game), and fourth in service aces (1.66 per-game). The one flaw in the Red Flash's arsenal is their defensive ability as they sit in eighth place among NEC teams in blocks (1.23 per-game) and seventh in digs (13.40 per-game). Much of the offense will be funneled through Williams as she holds a .311 hitting percentage and averages the seventh most kills (2.86 per-game) of any player in the NEC. Kiser posts the third-most assists with a 10.83 per-game average in addition to her 0.37 aces per-game as well.

Scouting the Colonials

Robert Morris and their defensive focus limited the Bobcat offense in the first meeting of this season at the Burt Kahn Court. Quinnipiac fell in straight sets (25-8, 25-23, 25-14) and were limited to a .011 hitting percentage on the afternoon. Sydney Sizemore came off the Colonial bench to provide a game-high eight kills while Erica Robb led the way for Robert Morris in blocks (four), digs (eight), and also contributed four kills and one service ace. After winning five straight to start NEC play, the Colonials have scuffled of late, losing three of their past five, placing them in third place in the NEC with a 7-2 conference record. Their defensive ability should be noted as they limit opponents to a .154 hitting percentage (second-best in the NEC) through nine conference showdowns thus far in the season. They also rank second with 2.60 blocks per-game and 14.53 digs per-game. The offensive ability has been a little more unpredictable as the team sits in the middle-of-the-pack among NEC teams in hitting percentage (.211), assists (11.03 average), and last in service aces (0.97 per-game). Becky Jay is a player-to-watch on the Robert Morris side as she comes in with a .355 hitting percentage, fifth best among NEC players. She also is a force on the defensive end, coming in with the best blocking numbers in the conference, averaging 1.65 per-game. Lindsey Monger ranks third in the NEC with 3.44 kills per-game and should be seeing a majority of the looks from her outside hitter position.

Digging Her Way to the Top

With 19 more digs over the weekend, seven against Fairleigh Dickinson and 12 against LIU Brooklyn, junior libero Logan Riker has been a stalwart all season for the Bobcats on the defensive end. She has posted 11 double-digit performances this season including five of her past six matches (averaging 13.17 per-match during the stretch). Riker eclipsed the program's all-time record for career digs earlier this year and is continuing to add to her career total.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career dig leaders

  1. Logan Riker '13                  1,072
  2. Kelby Carey '11                     1,017
  3. Kayla Lawler '11                   819
  4. Erin Overdevest, '09             814
  5. Crista Valentino, '08             754

T-Payne in Position

After becoming the fifth player in program history to record 500 career kills during this season, senior right side Taylor Payne also eclipsed 200 career blocks and currently stands at 203. She is just 22 away from becoming the all-time blocks leader at Quinnipiac with six games left.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career blocks leader

  1. Stephanie Logan, '07            224
  2. Stephanie Conde, '06           215
  3. Taylor Payne, '12               203
  4. Kalyn Hundley, '05                164
  5. Jenna Benigno, '08                151

Freshman Sensation

Outside hitter Chandler Thornton has impressed during her rookie campaign as she was named to the Bucknell Invitational All-Tournament Team earlier in the year and currently ranks second on the team in kills (97), second in hitting percentage (.109), and second in digs (87). She posted a career and season-high for any Bobcat player with 14 kills in a showdown with Bryant last week and is riding a hot streak where she is averaging 2.86 kills per-game in her past four matches.

Celestin Surging Up Leaderboard

The sophomore outside hitter Tanner Celestin continues to lead the Bobcat's offensive attack as she compiled another 16 kills over the weekend to give her 124 for the year. Celestin has seen a marked improvement after totaling only eight kills through the first four matches (2.00 per-game average), she has compiled 116 over the past 15 contests (7.73 per-match average).

Triple Threat

Sophomore setter Brittanie Robinson has cracked the top-seven among NEC players in assist average for the season. She has strung together several strong performances including a double-double on Oct. 17 against Bryant with 29 assists and 10 digs. Over the weekend Robinson recorded 43 assists, nine digs, six blocks and two kills to lead an inspiring effort. For the season Robinson is averaging 6.36 assists per-game which places her seventh among NEC players.

On Deck

The Bobcats will return home for a quick turnaround after the Pennsylvania weekend trip. They welcome the Bryant Bulldogs for a home match on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. Fans can find scores, stats and game recaps at the official Athletics Website of Quinnipiac University at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu