Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-20, 0-12 NEC)
vs. Bryant (9-19, 3-8 NEC)
Thursday, November 1, 2012 – 7 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-20, 0-12 NEC)
vs. St. Francis (N.Y.) (4-25, 2-10 NEC)
Sunday, November 4, 2012 – 1 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.
The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team returns home for a pair of Northeast Conference showdowns. The Bobcats welcome the NEC's seventh and eighth place teams in Bryant (9-19, 3-8 NEC) and St. Francis (N.Y.) (4-25, 2-10 NEC) this week. After battling to a four-set loss in each prior meeting on the road this season, the Bobcats will look to exact some revenge and claim their first conference victory in these next two matchups.
The Bobcats were swept last weekend facing two of the top teams in the NEC, St. Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris, but didn't go down without a fight. On Saturday, Quinnipiac took on the Red Flash and fell in five sets (18-25, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22, 8-15). It was only the second time this season that the Bobcats have pushed an opponent to five sets as their only other five-setter ended in their only victory on Sept. 14 over Providence. Junior middle hitter Bonnie Conklin led the way with 10 kills and was supported by the underclassmen outside hitter duo of Chandler Thornton (nine kills, 12 digs) and Tanner Celestin (seven kills, career-high 18 digs). Junior libero Logan Riker also posted 16 digs to keep her hot streak going from the team's defensive position. The Bobcats followed with Robert Morris on Sunday and fell in straight sets. Sophomore setter Brittanie Robinson recorded her fifth career double-double and third of the season with 17 assists and 10 digs to highlights the Bobcat's effort. Thornton and Celestin combined for 13 of the team's 19 kills (68.4 percent).
All-Time Against the Field
The Bobcats are winless all-time against Bryant as they welcome the Bulldogs on Thursday night. In nine prior meetings, Quinnipiac has pushed Bryant to five sets just once and have only won five total sets against the Bulldogs. In the team's prior meeting this season, the Bobcats pushed the Bulldogs, losing in four tightly-contested sets, 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 21-25, 19-25). Chandler Thornton recorded a career-high 14 kills in the losing effort while Brittanie Robinson had a double-double with 29 assists and 10 digs and Logan Riker contributed a team-high 18 digs. Quinnipiac has had great overall success against St. Francis (N.Y.) in their prior meetings, owning a 13-6 overall record against the Terriers. St. Francis (N.Y.), however, has challenged Quinnipiac in their last five meetings, winning three-of-five against the Bobcats. Quinnipiac owns a 7-1 record at home and looks to avenge their 3-1 loss earlier this season to the Terriers. Riker had another great game with 19 digs while Robinson posted a dynamic all-around performance with 31 assists, five digs, and four blocks. Bonnie Conklin was also a factor on the defensive end with a career-high eight blocks.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Bryant has experienced a very up-and-down string of conference games as they began the season with four straight losses to teams in the upper-half of the rankings in Robert Morris, St. Francis (Pa.), Sacred Heart, and Central Connecticut State. Their luck turned around as they won three of their next four conference matchups including a 3-1 victory over Quinnipiac. But the Bulldogs have since lost four straight, all in straight sets, to NEC competition. They enter Thursday's game with a 9-19 overall record and 3-8 mark in conference play. Bryant ranks near the bottom of the NEC in all the major offensive statistical categories through conference-only games. Their team hitting percentage (.179), opponent hitting percentage (.236), assists (323), kills (385), and digs (477) all ranks seventh among nine NEC teams through conference play. The one area where the Bobcats might have trouble is the Bulldog defense where they rank fourth in the NEC in blocks. As a team they have compiled 71 total blocks in 11 conference games and average 2.03 per-game. Alexandria Clyburn spearheads the blocking attack as the junior comes in with 35 total blocks in conference play, averaging one block per-game (tied for sixth among NEC players). Elena Lohr also provides a lift defensively as she comes into Thursday's game ranked fourth in the NEC in digs per-game (3.60). The Bryant offensive attack will go through Claire Van Dyk and Clyburn who come in with 268 and 238 kills, respectively.
Scouting the Terriers
After starting the conference slate with six straight losses, St. Francis (N.Y.) picked up their first NEC win at home on Oct. 13 against Quinnipiac, 3-1. The since went on to pull out a thrilling, 3-2, victory over Fairleigh Dickinson at home for their second conference win. They come into the weekend with a 4-25 overall record and stand 2-10 in conference play. Quinnipiac will need to exploit the Terriers offense as St. Francis (N.Y.) ranks near the bottom of every major offensive statistical category. The one area where the Terriers do pose trouble is on the defensive end as they come into the weekend fifth in the NEC in blocks (1.91 average per-game) and fourth in digs (14.03 per-game). Their leader on the defensive end is Jillian Tracy who comes into the weekend with 28 total blocks in NEC action and averages one block per-game. Feliz Ramirez spearheads the defense as well, contributing 105 digs in 12 conference matches for a 3.75 per-game average, third among NEC players. Their leader on the offensive side is Slavica Stefanovic who comes into the weekend with 186 kills. Maggie Niu also will see her fair share of opportunities as she has compiled 175 kills on just 464 total attempts for a team-leading .265 hitting percentage.
Master of Her Craft
With 23 more digs over the weekend, including 16 against St. Francis (Pa.) and seven against Robert Morris, junior libero Logan Riker continues to etch her name in Quinnipiac record books. She already has established a new program-record for career digs and continues to add to her impressive career total.
Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career dig leaders
Logan Right in Line
The Bobcat's libero has been on a tear of late, compiling seven double-digit dig performances in her last 10 games after contributing five in the first 11 matches. In the past 10 matches, Riker has averaged 3.53 digs per-game which places her fourth among all NEC players in that stretch.
Fine Freshman Year
Quinnipiac freshman outside hitter Chandler Thornton has been one of the team's premier players over the season as she ranks second on the team in kills (114), hitting percentage (.091), and digs (116). She came one dig short of matching her career-high with 12 over the weekend against St. Francis (Pa.) Thornton also had nine kills in that performance, narrowly missing her second double-double of the season.
Some Serious Firepower
Thornton has been one of the main Quinnipiac offensive threats all season and over her past six matches she has put it all together and is starting to see her numbers increase significantly. After compiling more than seven kills in a match just once prior to Oct. 13, Thornton has since reeled off four such matches in her past six contests. She posted a career-high 14 kills against Bryant on Oct. 17 and has accumulated the most kills (55) over the past six matches than any other Bobcat.
Bonnie Conklin has been a force in the middle for the Bobcat's defense all season as she leads the team with 52 blocks. She compiled a career-high and season-high for any Bobcat player with eight total blocks on Oct. 13 against St. Francis (N.Y.). Conklin also put together a career-high 10 kills against St. Francis (Pa.) over the weekend and led the team with seven blocks in the two-game weekend series in Pennsylvania.
DJ Tanner in the House
The sophomore outside hitter Tanner Celestin continues to lead the Bobcat's offensive attack as she compiled another 14 kills over the weekend to give her 138 for the year. With seven kills in each game this past weekend against St. Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris, Celestin has now gone 10 straight matches with at least six kills (2.41 per-game average).
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 and on Oct. 28 against Robert Morris with 17 assists and 10 digs. Over the weekend Robinson recorded 43 assists, 14 digs, five kills, and three blocks to lead an inspiring effort. For the season Robinson is averaging 6.36 assists per-game which places her seventh among NEC players.
The Bobcats are in the home stretch with just two games left in the 2012 season. They will travel to Sacred Heart on Saturday, Nov. 10 for a 5 p.m. start and come back home for Senior Day against Central Connecticut State on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 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; email@example.com