Women's Volleyball Heads to Pennsylvania for Four Games at Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament

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Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament
Kirby Sports Stadium – Easton, Pa.
Leeman-Turner Arena – Bethlehem, Pa. 

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-6, 0-0 MAAC)
St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (3-6, 0-0 Northeast)
Morgan State Lady Bears (1-5, 0-0 MEAC)
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (5-2, 0-0 Patriot League)
Lafayette Leopards (6-1, 0-0 Patriot League)

Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament Schedule

Friday, September 13, 2013
Quinnipiac vs. St. Francis Brooklyn – 3:00 p.m.
Quinnipiac @ Lehigh – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 14, 2013
Quinnipiac @ Lafayette – 10:00 a.m.
Quinnipiac vs. Morgan St. – 12:30 p.m.

It's Go Time
The second and final weekend tournament of the year looms for the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team as they travel to Pennsylvania to compete in the Lehigh/Lafayette Crosstown Tournament. The Bobcats enter the weekend on a six-game losing streak to start the season but their play has picked up of late as they battled to a five set defeat on Wednesday against St. Francis Brooklyn. Quinnipiac will compete against the Terries once again in the opening match of the tourney followed by bouts against Lehigh, Lafayette and Morgan St.

All-Time Record Against the Field
The Bobcats' best winning percentage against all the teams in this field is St. Francis Brooklyn. Despite their loss to the Terriers on Wednesday, Quinnipiac owns a record of 14-7 in their all-time series history. The Bobcats haven't been as successful against the rest of the field as they own a losing record against Morgan St. (1-2), Lehigh (0-2) and Lafayette (1-3). Their most-recent victory over any of the remaining three teams in the field came on Sept. 18, 2010 against Lafayette in a 3-0 victory from Easton, Pa.

Scouting the Terriers
Despite a disappointing 4-29 record a year ago, St. Francis (NY) had already notched three victories on the young season and put a scare in MAAC foe Manhattan a week ago. The Terries come into play with a 3-6 record as they opened the 2013 season with a 3-0 victory over Delaware St., swept NJIT on Friday and took down the Bobcats, 3-2, on Wednesday for their third win of the year. Maggie Niu comes in with a team-high 81 kills through nine matches while Domenique Gerard has posted 66 kills thus far in her freshman season. The Terries employ a balanced offensive attack as five players have compiled at least eight kills in a match thus far while Niehely Sosa has been an absolute force on the defensive end with 42 total blocks.

Matching up with the Mountain Hawks
The Mountain Hawks of Lehigh have jumped out to an impressive 5-2 start to 2013 including a pair of victories over MAAC opponent St. Peter's. The only opponents Lehigh has fallen to include New Hampshire and Villanova, in five and four sets, respectively. The Lehigh offense features a balanced attack as nine players have tallied at least 20 kills through the first seven matches. Kaylynn Genemaras comes in with the most on the team with 55 while Amy Matula has distributed the ball well with 205 assists and 11 service aces thus far. Lehigh seniors Rachel Charles and Amanda Clark were named preseason All-Patriot League performers while the Mountain Hawk volleyball team was predicted to finish fourth in the league. Charles led the team last year with 473 digs and 28 service aces, and was named Patriot League's Libero of the Year for the second-consecutive season. Mountain Hawk middle blocker Clark was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team, and received the team's Scholar-Athlete award for the third consecutive season

Lowdown on Lafayette
The Leopards come into the weekend riding a six game winning streak and also hold the best record of any team entering the tournament at 6-1. They've dominated the competition of late with five straight 3-0 victories, two of which coming against Quinnipiac's former Northeast Conference foe Fairleigh Dickinson. Picked to finish last in the Patriot League Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Leopards have turned some heads to start the year. Karissa Ciliento currently leads the team with 70 kills but Lehigh is a well-balanced team as five players have compiled at least 38 kills through the first seven matches. The Leopards employ a dual setter system as Samantha Volk (125 assists) and Molly Belcher (104 assists) have split time as the team's main distributor while Katy Rooney has led the defensive effort with 21 total blocks.

Scouting Morgan St.
The Lady Bears have had a rough start to the season with a 1-5 record but their previous opponents include Kansas, Arizona, Central Arkansas and East Carolina. All respected, consistent powers within the sport and Morgan St. was able to shake off a five game losing streak to start the season and pick up their first win with a 3-2 victory over Citadel last weekend. Picked to finish fifth in the MEAC, Janelle Wilson leads the offense with 39 kills and a .204 hitting percentage, both tops on the team. Ngebui Chefeh has been a force at the setter position with 155 assists, 36 digs, 10 total blocks and seven service aces.

One's Company, Two's a Crowd and Three's a Party
The Bobcats compiled a season-high 41 kills on Wednesday with three players each going for double figures. Junior Tanner Celestin led the way with 12 kills while the freshmen duo of Katie Urycki and Allison Leigh chimed in with 11 and 10, respectively. The three Bobcats in double figures marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2011 that Quinnipiac has had as many players register at least 10 kills in a match.

Trend Setter
Wednesday's match marked many first time achievements for this Bobcat squad starting with freshman setter Emma Ogden who compiled a season-high 39 assists. The assist total is the most for any Quinnipiac player in a match since Kayla Lawler posted 41 back on Oct. 30, 2011. Ogden also chipped in five digs and three total blocks to complete her sensational night.

This Girl is on Fire
Allison Leigh has given the Bobcats an added dynamic in the middle that the team hasn't had in years. Through her first six matches in a Quinnipiac uniform, Leigh has accumulated a team-high 41 kills, 25 total blocks (nine solo, 16 assists) and 63 points to start the season for the Bobcats. Her point total has accounted for nearly 33 percent of the Bobcats' output as a team while her 25 blocks made up a significant portion of the team's total of 34.

It's a Block Party!
For as much as Leigh does on the offensive end, it's her defense that has been the most impressive area of her game thus far in the season. She currently leads all MAAC players with a 1.19 blocks per set average and is one of only five players in the conference to post an average of at least 1.00 per set.

MAAC Blocks Per Set Leaders (minimum 1.00 blocks per set)

Rank Player School Year Blocks Per Set
1 Allison Leigh QU FR 1.19
2 Melissa McGwin NIA SO 1.12
3 Amy Osinski CAN SO 1.07
4 Kaitlyn Griffin RID FR 1.04
5 McKenzie Humann IONA SO 1.00


Master of Her Domain
Already the program's all-time leader in digs through her first three seasons, senior libero Logan Riker has already posted a team-leading 62 digs to start the season and crossed over the 1,100 milestone with 10 digs against Texas St. She posted 16 digs against St. Francis Brooklyn on Wednesday for her fourth straight match with a double digit dig total.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1140
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
4 Erin Overdevest, '09 814
5 Crista Valentino, '08 754


Channeling the Kills
One of the Bobcats' most-consistent, steady offensive forces all season has been sophomore outside hitter Chandler Thornton. After finishing 2012 with the second-most kills and digs on the team, Thornton is already showing signs of improvement as she currently sits in second place on with 33 kills. She posted her best all-around game of the season against Providence with seven kills and eight digs while her 2.00 kills per set average is currently the highest on the team.

Setting the Pace
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 135 assists, 39 digs, nine blocks, five kills and six service aces through the first six matches. Ogden has played in all 21 sets thus far for the Bobcats and finished last Wednesday's match against Providence with her first career double double (24 assists, 11 digs).

DJ Tanner in the House
One of the most-dominate Bobcats this past Wednesday against St. Francis Brooklyn was none other than Tanner Celestin. After compiling just four points through her first four matches of the season, she broke out on Wednesday with 12 kills, five digs, two service aces and two blocks. Her kill total is the most for any Bobcat this season and she led the Bobcats down the stretch as she served out the last seven points of the fourth set.

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