Sep 4, 2013
Patriot League Volleyball Release - 9.4.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Eight of nine Patriot League teams picked up at least one win during the first weekend of the 2013 season, but it was last year’s League finalists that had the best showings. American and Colgate both swept all three of their weekend contests, while Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh captured two of three.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
• Colgate is 12-1 in its last 13 home matches dating back to last season.
• Kaylee Fifer paced the Raiders with 114 assists, while Lindsay Young and Katie Reilly both added over 20 kills each.
• Army senior L D.J. Phee was named to the Black Knight Invitational All-Tournament Team after picking up 51 digs. She finished last season with 577, second-most in League history.
• Bucknell freshman MB Erika Eastley led the Bison in kills twice over the weekend, and picke dup nine block assists in her first collegiate outing versus Sacramento State.
• Loyola hosts the second annual Radisson Cross Keys Greyhound Challenge this weekend, welcoming UMBC, Delaware and La Salle to town.
• Loyola’s Mindy Maloney was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Appalachian State Invitational after hitting .300 in three matches.
• Erin Fortner was named to the all-tournament team at Navy’s Kristen Dickmann Invitational. The senior team captain led Navy in kills, led all non-primary passers in digs and placed second on the team in blocks.
• Nine of the 13 Mids who played on the opening weekend were either freshmen (5) or sophomores (4).
• Lehigh senior L Rachel Charles posted 50 digs and was named Lehigh Classic MVP.
• Lehigh freshman RS/OH Kianna Carroll logged nine kills in her first collegiate outing.
• Bob Bertucci coached his 700th victory with Lehigh’s 3-0 win over Rhode Island. • American coach Barry Goldberg is eight wins shy of 600 for his career.
Patriot League Notebook
LOYOLA UPS NUMBER TO NINE
Before Loyola Maryland’s official entry on July 1, it had been over a decade since the Patriot League had added a volleyball member. American had been the most recent addition in 2001, and since then the Eagles have captured 10 of 12 titles. The Greyhounds are looking for a similar string of success over the next dozen years. Third-year head coach Jake Lawrence guides a roster led by six seniors, and Loyola is hoping that leadership translates into a shot at contending for a League crown in its first season.
With 119 points and eight first-place votes, American was chosen as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League in voting conducted by its head coaches and sports information directors who could not cast a ballot for their own schools or student-athletes. The Eagles were a set away from claiming their 11th League championship in 12 seasons, but host Colgate rallied for a thrilling five-set victory to send American home disappointed. Army claimed the poll’s second position with 112 points and five first-place votes, while the defending champion Raiders were third with 111 points and the last five first-place ballots. Lehigh (78 points), Navy (76), Loyola (52), Bucknell (50), Holy Cross (28) and Lafayette (22) rounded out the poll.
COLGATE TRIES FOR REPEAT
American’s dominance since 2001 has made it difficult for other teams to win one League crown, let alone two. But that’s exactly what Colgate will try to do after claiming its first Patriot League title since 1999. It was the fifth crown for the Raiders, who also captured the trophy in 1990, 1995 and 1996. In fact, Colgate joins American and Army as the only programs to win consecutive championships. Army did it in 1991-92, while American won eight straight from 2001-08 and two more in 2010-11.
HEAVY ON EXPERIENCE
Army senior OH Margaux Jarka was tabbed the preseason Player of the Year by the head coaches and sports information directors, and was one of two Black Knights to make the squad. Along with junior S Mary Vaccaro, the pair combines for a potent 1-2 combination that also features senior L D.J. Phee leading Army’s defense. Seniors Kaylee Fifer (S) and Lindsay Young (OH) represent Colgate, while Lehigh placed seniors Rachel Charles (L) and Amanda Clark (MB). Navy senior OH Erin Fortner rounded out the seven-member preseason All-League team, of which Vaccaro is the only underclassman.
WATCH FREE ON THE PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK
2013-14 is the first of a multi-year agreement between the Patriot League and Campus Insiders who have teamed up to create the Patriot League Network, a streaming platform that will enable fans to watch League regular season and championship events for free. Currently more than 40 volleyball are tentatively scheduled to stream on the Network, both League and non-League, including the Patriot League Tournament.
INTRODUCING THE GREYHOUNDS
Jake Lawrence is in his third season as the head coach at Loyola Maryland, which comes to the Patriot League from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Greyhounds’ first season was 1990, coincidentally the first season of Patriot League volleyball, and their first conference crown came in 1991. Loyola repeated in ‘92, but has been held without a trophy since. Key players include a pair of seniors in MB Jac Bullock and OH Faye Lukas. Bullock led the MAAC in hitting (.337) and earned second-team all-conference honors, while Lukas averaged 3.61 kills per set.
NCAA RECOGNIZES LEAGUE AGAIN
The Patriot League was once again a big winner when the NCAA announced its latest set of Academic Performance Program Public Recognition Awards and Academic Progress Rate data in June. Volleyball teams from Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh were three of the 71 total League teams cited for finishing in the top 10 percent of their sport in the most recent multi-year APR data, while six of eight schools from before the July 1 expansion boasted an APR of 985 or better. League newcomer Loyola fits right in with an APR of 986 for the 2011-12 academic year.