September 3, 2013

Women's Volleyball Hosts Providence in 2013 Home Opener on Wednesday; Free Live Stream Available on YouTube

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-4, 0-0 MAAC) vs.
Providence College Friars (1-2, 0-0 America East)
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 – 6:00 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

Home Sweet Home
The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team returns from their first ever trip to Texas and will be hosting the America East Conference's Providence Friars on Wednesday evening from Burt Kahn Court. Both sides played to a dramatic, 3-2, Quinnipiac victory last season in the Bucknell Invitational. Brittanie Robinson erupted for 37 assists, 13 digs, four blocks and two kills to inspire the Bobcats to victory while Logan Riker headlined the defensive effort with a season-high 20 digs. These two sides have gone to at least four sets in the last four meetings as Wednesday's home opener shapes up to be another nail-biter.

All-Time Record Against Providence
Quinnipiac owns a 4-13 record against the Friars in their all-time meetings but the Bobcats did secure a 3-2 victory on Sept. 14, 2012 in what was their most-recent contest. The Bobcats have defeated the Friars just once on their home court in the all-time history, a 3-1 victory back on Oct. 2, 2002.  

Friars' Club
After a disappointing 1-30 season a year ago, Providence has already equaled its win total from 2012 with a 1-2 start to the 2013 season. They claimed a 3-1 victory over Chicago St. at the DePaul Invitational to score their first win of the season. Junior Annie Russian highlighted the individual performances from the weekend set with 25 kills, nine blocks, three digs and two aces to earn an All-Tournament Team distinction. Entering her 14th season, Head Coach Margot Royer-Johnson returns nine players, including six starters, and six newcomers also look to make and impact. Russian led the Friars with 239 kills and 28 aces last season. Junior Kelly Ashmore was second on the team in digs with 219. Russian and sophomore Lindsay Witt teamed up for 42 and 62 block assists, respectively. Sophomore Jordan Wiesler ended the year averaging 8.11 assists per set. Picked to finish ninth in the America East Preseason Poll, the Friars will be looking to redeem themselves after a winless conference slate in 2012.

This Girl is on Fire
Something needs to be said for the job freshman middle hitter Allison Leigh did over the weekend in Texas. In her first outing in a Quinnipiac uniform, Leigh posted a team-high 21 kills, 15 total blocks (seven solo, eight assists) and 34 points in the four games for the Bobcats at the Texas St. Classic. Her point total accounted for nearly 33 percent of the Bobcats' output as a team while her 15 blocks made up a significant portion of the team's total of 21.

Master of Her Domain
After being granted a red-shirt season in 2011, senior libero Logan Riker is back for one more year with the Bobcats. Already the program's all-time leader in digs through her first three seasons, Riker has already posted a team-leading 36 digs to start the season and crossed over the 1,100 milestone with 10 digs against Texas St. on Saturday.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

  1. Logan Riker, '13                  1,114
  2. Kelby Carey, '11                  1,017
  3. Kayla Lawler, '11                819
  4. Erin Overdevest, '09          814
  5. Crista Valentino, '08           754

Channeling the Kills
Quinnipiac's sophomore outside hitter Chandler Thornton made a name for herself in her first season with the Bobcats. She finished 2012 as the second-leading Bobcat in kills (138) and digs (140). Thornton is already showing signs of improvement as she currently is tied for the team-lead with 21 kills including the most kills of any Bobcat in a single match with nine against Lamar.

Trend Setter
Freshman setter Emma Ogden was expected to see plenty of playing time in her first season but the immediate impact has been a pleasant surprise. Her all-around ability cannot be overstated as she has compiled 72 assists, 23 digs, five blocks, four kills and four service aces through the first four games. Ogden has played in all 13 sets thus far for the Bobcats and just posted an impressive 28 assists, eight digs and two kills in the Bobcats' last match against Lamar on Saturday.

Meet the Robinson(s)
Being a setter over six-feet tall isn't the norm in women's volleyball but junior Brittanie Robinson certainly made it work last season. One of the team's most-dynamic players from a year ago successfully transitioned from her natural outside hitter position into the main setter for the Bobcats in 2012. She strung together some dominate outings including a season-high 37 assists against Providence to go along with 13 digs for her first career double-double. Robinson amassed two more double-doubles throughout the season and went on to finish with the eighth-highest average for assists per game (5.44) in the Northeast Conference.

Manning the Middle
Holding down the fort in the middle for the Bobcats last season was senior middle hitter Bonnie Conklin. She returns after leading the team with 65 total blocks to go along with 106 kills. Conklin broke out last season with single-season career highs in every major statistical category and her play really improved down the stretch of 2012 as she notched a career high 13 kills in a win over St. Francis (N.Y.) on Nov. 4.

DJ Tanner Reporting Live
The Bobcats' main offensive force last season was junior outside hitter/right side Tanner Celestin. She posted a team-high 154 kills in 2012 and was the most consistent player down the stretch of the season as she compiled at least seven kills in each of the last 10 games of the season. Celestin also pitched in four double-digit kill performances a year ago to lead the team and went for a career high 18 digs in a match against St. Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 27.

Fresh Faces
Head coach Kris Czaplinski recruited six talented freshman newcomers to the program as they all figure to see significant playing time in their first years with the team. Emma Ogden immediately steps into the role as the team's main setter while Allison Leigh gives the team a size advantage with her height and blocking ability in the middle. Katie Urycki and Jamie Paolucci both figure to see time on the outside and right side, respectively, with their great all-around games giving the Bobcats a depth of lineup options. Finally, Sam Alechko expects to be seen in the middle with her powerful offensive game while Cody Michaels gives the Bobcats a second option as a defensive specialist.

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