Women's Volleyball Begins Homestand with Rider and Saint Peter's This Weekend with Live YouTube Stream Available

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-13, 0-3 MAAC) vs.
Rider Broncs (10-3, 2-1 MAAC)
Saturday, October 5, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-13, 0-3 MAAC) vs.
Saint Peter's Peacocks (3-14, 1-4 MAAC)
Sunday, October 6, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

We're Here to Stay
The Bobcats enter the crucial stage of their schedule as they begin their five game conference home stand this weekend against Rider and Saint Peter's. Quinnipiac needs to make the most of their home matches as they come in winless in their last five games and have yet to win their first MAAC victory in program history. They certainly will get a stiff test from the Broncos and Peacocks as they both will be traveling to Hamden for the first time in at least four years.

All-Time Record Against Rider
Quinnipiac and Rider have met for some thrilling matches through their series history as the Bobcats come in with a 3-1 all-time record. Their last meeting came on September 7, 2007 from Burt Kahn Court in what resulted in a 3-0 Bobcat sweep over the Broncs. This was the only match to go three sets in their four meetings as the two sides have played to a pair of four set decisions and one five set match.

Beating the Broncs
Rider enters the weekend with the most wins (10) and highest winning percentage (.769) of any team in the MAAC. The Broncs come in with a 10-3 overall record and 2-1 mark in the MAAC. They won seven straight games from Aug. 31 to Sept. 14 with key victories over Mississippi Valley State, Howard, La Salle, and Fairleigh Dickinson twice. Their conference slate includes victories over Niagara and Saint Peter's and a loss to Canisius in four sets, 3-1. Despite their impressive winning percentage, the Broncs haven't played any of the top five teams in the MAAC standings and have scuffled of late with two of their three losses this season coming in the last four matches. They do however, own the most-potent offense in the conference as they rank No. 1 with a .247 hitting percentage. Of all the teams in the MAAC, only the Broncs and Marist hit the ball above a clip of .174. In addition, their defense is well-rounded as they are allowing their opponents to hit at .135 this season, lowest such percentage in the conference by a wide margin. The team is undoubtedly the best-rounded in the MAAC as they rank no lower than third in any of the major statistical categories. Rider is second in kills, assists and blocks, first in service aces and third in digs. Their main weapons this season have been senior Bridget Sheerin (101 kills, .348 hitting percentage) and freshman Kaitlyn Griffin (114 kills, .324 hitting percentage), who have both proven at times unstoppable this season. Griffin and Ashlee Amatulli are lethal from the service line as both are in the top-five in the MAAC for service aces per set while Griffin just overtook Quinnipiac's Allison Leigh for the most blocks per set (1.10) in the conference standings.

All-Time Record Against Saint Peter's
The Bobcats are winless all-time in their two meetings against the Peacocks. The two teams last met back on Sept. 10, 2010 from Burt Kahn Court in what resulted in a 3-1 loss to Saint Peter's. The two sides have never played one another from Yanitelli Center, home to the Peacocks, but the Bobcats will have their first chance for victory later this season.

Profiling the Peacocks
After a disappointing 1-31 campaign in 2012, including an 0-18 mark in the MAAC, the Saint Peter's women's volleyball team has already made some noise this season coming in at 3-14 with a 1-4 record in conference play. Picked to finish ninth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Peacocks came out of the gates firing with wins against Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis Brooklyn and just recently scored their first MAAC victory since 2011 with a 3-2 win at home against Niagara. Coming off a four game conference home stand, Saint Peter's now hits the road for10 of their remaining 15 matches this season. They feature a balanced scoring attack with senior Laura Reinhart, junior Dayana Arrufar-Rondon and sophomore Lauren Behrens all lead the team in kills with each recording over 140 on the season thus far. Senior Jenny Pliska became the 11th player since 1995 in Saint Peter's history to eclipse 1,000 digs for her collegiate career. She currently ranks 8th all-time in Saint Peter's history. Pliska has been the backbone of her team's defensive back line all season as she is among the MAAC leaders in digs per set and is among the nation leaders in digs (284) and digs per set (4.81). An area in which the Bobcats need to exploit on Sunday is the lack of a middle presence for the Peacocks. They come into the weekend ranked last in the conference in blocks per set (1.07) by a wide margin. They've accumulated 60 blocks through 17 matches, which is nearly 20 total blocks behind the next-closest team in the conference standings.

Hitting on all Cylinders
As a team, Quinnipiac tallied a season-high 52 kills and 50 assists as their offense was clicking on all cylinders Sunday afternoon in their upset bid against the Manhattan Jaspers. The kill total was their most in a match since Sept. 14, 2012 (32 matches) while it was their first match with at least 50 assists since Oct. 1, 2011 (52 matches).

Setting the Stage                                                                                                                     
Much credit should go to the play of the Bobcats' freshman setter Emma Ogden, who posted the best game of her young career with a season and game-high 44 assists to go along with seven digs, three kills, two blocks and one service ace. It marked the first match in which Ogden went over 40 assists and became the first Bobcat since Kayla Lawler on Oct. 30, 2011 (44 matches) to accomplish the feat.

One's Company, Two's a Crowd, Three's a Party
For the Bobcat hitters, Sunday was a day full of season-highs as sophomore Chandler Thornton (12 kills) and freshmen Allison Leigh (11 kills, five blocks) and Jamie Paolucci (12 kills, six digs, four blocks) all tallied season-high kill totals. It was the first time in Paolucci's young career she pushed into the double figures for kills in a match while it was Leigh's fourth time this season and Thornton's second.

Assisted Living
A huge key for the Bobcats this season has been the marked improved play from Ogden as she currently sports a total of 392 assists through 15 matches. She can also stake her claim in the records books as her 15 match total represents more assists for a single player through their first 15 career matches for any Bobcat in program history.

She's a Thorn in Their Side
Sophomore outside hitter was the offensive star for the Bobcats last Wednesday as she finished with her second career double double with 11 kills and a career high 15 digs. The kill total was just two off her career high but her defensive effort was particularly special against the Hawks' offensive attack.

Serving up Aces
One of the strongest areas of the new Bobcat squad has been their imposing play at the service line. Quinnipiac dominated reigning MAAC Champion Fairfield from the service line at 13-2 for the match. The Bobcats enter Saturday's match with 82 aces on the season for a 1.52 per set average. The number is good for third-best in the MAAC while three Bobcat freshman Katie Urycki has herself ranked in the Top-8 among all MAAC players in aces per set.

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 last Wednesday against Hartford as Allison Leigh lifted the team with four blocks (one solo, three assists) and three Bobcats (Logan Riker 15, Chandler Thornton 15, Brittanie Robinson 10) all chipped in at least 10 digs despite the loss.

Riding the Wave
Senior libero Logan Riker, already the program's all-time leader in digs, picked up 20 digs on Sunday against Manhattan for her first game with 20 assists since Sept. 14, 2012.  

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).

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 102 kills to go along with a .162 hitting percentage but Leigh's most valuable role on this team has been her defensive ability. After just 15 matches, she currently ranks second in the MAAC with 58 total blocks (22 solo, 36 assists) and 1.07 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 ranks second among all MAAC players with a 1.07 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 Kaitlyn Griffin RID FR 1.10
2 Allison Leigh QU FR 1.07
  Roxanne Hernandez CAN SR 1.07
4 Melissa McGwin NIA SO 1.06
5 Jacqueline Skeen SIENA JR 1.00


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 181 digs to start the season.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player                           Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1259
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
4 Erin Overdevest, '09 814
5 Crista Valentino, '08 754


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 392 assists, 105 digs, 14 blocks, 18 kills and 16 service aces through the first 15 matches. Ogden has played in all 54 sets thus far for the Bobcats.

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