Women's Volleyball Hosts Fairfield For First MAAC Competition In Quinnipiac History On Saturday, Sept. 21

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-9, 0-0 MAAC) vs
Fairfield Stags (2-8, 0-0 MAAC)
Saturday, September 21, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

Start of Something New
After 11 non-conference bouts and over three weeks of competition, the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team will make their MAAC debut, taking on the Fairfield Stags on Saturday. The Bobcats (2-9) come their first MAAC conference game in program history riding some positive momentum as they picked up both their victories this past weekend. Quinnipiac took down St. Francis Brooklyn and Morgan St down at the Crosstown Tournament in Pa. They welcome in a tough opponent however, as Fairfield (2-9) is the reigning MAAC Champion and was picked to repeat in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

All-Time Record Against Fairfield
Despite playing less than an hour from one another, the Stags and Bobcats are relatively unknown quantities as they've only played once in their series history. Both side played to a 3-0 sweep for the Stags in their first all-time meeting last season on Sept. 5, 2012. Saturday marks the first all-time meeting between the two teams at Burt Kahn Court.

Scouting the Stags
Don't let their record fool you but the Fairfield Stags are one of the powerhouse teams in the Northeast region. They enter play with a 2-8 record but have played some of the toughest teams in the country including Northern Iowa, Missouri, Boston College, Cornell and LIU Brooklyn. Saturday will be the first conference game for the reigning MAAC Champions. Favored to defend their title, senior setter Rachel Romansky was selected as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year according to a poll of the league's coaches while junior Caitlin Stapleton was also chosen to the Preseason All-MAAC Team for the second straight year. The Bobcats will certainly have their hands full with Romansky as the two-time defending MAAC Setter of the Year comes in with 313 assists, 87 digs, 25 kills and 11 aces through 36 sets played. As a junior, Romansky registered 1,192 assists, the second most in the MAAC, 319 digs, 105 kills, 35 total blocks, and 30 aces en route to All-MAAC First Team accolades. Fairfield went 22-9 overall and 15-3 in league play last season en route to MAAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and an NCAA Tournament appearance. It was the 12th MAAC Regular Season Championship overall and the third under two-time MAAC Coach of the Year Alija Pittenger. The MAAC Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance were the sixth in program history and the first since the 2001 season.

Ladies and Gentlemen…We Have a Winner
Freshman setter Emma Ogden became the first Bobcat to earn a weekly Player of the Week award in nearly three years, following Kayla Lawler's honor on Oct. 11, 2010. Ogden is also just the fourth Quinnipiac player to earn Player of the Week since the Bobcats became a Division I program in 1998, joining Lawler, Heather Wollyung and Shannon Dublin.

Going by the Numbers
Ogden was instrumental in the Bobcats' winningest stretch since the 2010 season as they picked up two victories in four games the Crosstown Tournament. Playing in all 14 sets for the Bobcats, she compiled 103 assists, 32 digs, five service aces and three kills. Included in her weekend totals was one double double against Morgan St., her second of the year. Ogden went for 29 assists and 14 digs to go along with two service aces as the Bobcats knocked off the Lady Bears. Earlier in the tournament, she posted 37 assists, seven digs and a career-high three service aces against St. Francis Brooklyn to help lift the Bobcats to their first win of the 2013 season.

It's All About the D
Quinnipiac's defense certainly came to play on Wednesday against Holy Cross as Allison Leigh lifted the team with four blocks (three solo, one assist) and Logan Riker chipped in 12 digs despite the loss.

Riding the Wave
Senior libero Logan Riker, already the program's all-time leader in digs, crossed the 1,200 career dig milestone on Wednesday against Holy Cross. Riker came through with 12 digs in the loss to give her double digit dig outings in eight of the past nine matches for Quinnipiac.

Total Team Effort
As a team against Morgan St., the Bobcats registered 74 digs against the Lady Bears, the most for Quinnipiac in a match since Oct. 30, 2011 (38 matches). The Bobcats also dominated on the service line as they compiled 14 service aces compared to just three for Morgan St. The 14 aces represented the most for the Bobcats as a team since Sept. 10, 2011 (56 matches).

Look Out the Brit(s) are Coming
Quinnipiac's junior outside hitter Brittanie Robinson was an absolute force for the Bobcats all weekend as she posted 27 kills against just seven errors for a hitting percentage of .227. She also compiled three service aces, 42 digs (including a season-high 17 against Morgan St.) and four blocks throughout the tourney. Robinson's breakout game came against the Lady Bears as she posted a career-high 12 kills (against just one error) and picked it up defensive with 17 digs to finish with her fourth career double double.

This Girl is on Fire
The most imposing force for the Bobcats in the middle this season has undoubtedly been freshman Allison Leigh. She leads the team with 68 kills to go along with a .115 hitting percentage but Leigh's most valuable role on this team has been her defensive ability. After just 11 matches, she currently leads the MAAC with 43 total blocks (17 solo, 26 assists) and 1.13 blocks per set average.

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 1.13 blocks per set average and is one of only two 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 1.13
2 Kaitlyn Griffin RID FR 1.07

 

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 122 digs to start the season.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1200
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
4 Erin Overdevest, '09 814
5 Crista Valentino, '08 754

 

Katie's Time to Shine
One of the players who benefitted most from an increase in playing time over the weekend was freshman outside hitter Katie Urycki. She posted perhaps the best all-around game of any Bobcat this season with 11 kills, 12 digs and six blocks against St. Francis Brooklyn on Friday. It was her first career double double and she nearly went for another on Saturday as she chipped in nine kills and 10 digs to go along with four service aces against Morgan St.

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 238 assists, 71 digs, 10 blocks, eight kills and 11 service aces through the first 10 matches. Ogden has played in all 35 sets thus far for the Bobcats and finished Saturday's match against Morgan St. with her second career double double (29 assists, 14 digs).

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 52 kills. She posted her best all-around game of the season against Providence with seven kills and eight digs while her 1.93 kills per set average is currently the highest on the team.

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