Bucknell's Karen Campbell
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — So far, so good for Lafayette, which jumped out to its best start in program history with five straight wins to open the season before dropping its first match Tuesday at Rutgers. The Leopards, who last qualified for the Patriot League Tournament in 2006, won four matches last week, including three at their own tournament inside the Kirby Sports Center in Easton, Pa., and will look to get back to their winning ways Wednesday at La Salle.
Bucknell captured a pair of victories during a strong showing last weekend at the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational in Pittsburgh. The Bison have nudged above the .500 mark entering this weekend’s Rose Hill Classic hosted by Fordham.
American, Army and Navy also collected at least one victory last weekend.
In addition to Lafayette’s visit to La Salle on Wednesday, Army takes the short trip up the Hudson River to Marist.
Six of the eight squads have weekend matches lined up. Lafayette and Lehigh are the exceptions, as both clubs will take a break from competition. Army and Navy will both participate in the All-Armed Forces Tournament at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., over the weekend, though the rivals will hold off on going head-to-head until the League campaign.
PATRIOT LEAGUE NOTEBOOK
• Bucknell head coach Cindy Opalski is sitting at 399 career victories after a pair of weekend wins for the Bison.
• Navy’s Erin Fortner was named to the All-Tournament Team at George Mason’s Patriot Invite after averaging 3.91 kills and 2.18 digs per set while hitting .270 over the four matches. She had a pair of double-doubles.
• Army’s Ariana Mankus has earned All-Tournament accolades each of the first two weekends of the season. Francine Vasquez joined her on the squad at the TCU Nike Invitational last weekend after registering a season-high 13 kills in the four-set win over SMU.
• Holy Cross senior Megan Lynch set the Crusader all-time kills record last week. She now has 1,271, surpassing the previous mark of 1,246 set by Christine Strawson (2004-07).
• Lehigh junior libero Rachel Charles earned All-Tournament recognition at the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup hosted by Virginia last weekend. She averaged 4.1 digs per set and launched six service aces.
• Navy’s Christy Rapp logged a career-high 27 digs in the five-set match against Niagara. It is tied for the third-highest total for a Mid in a five-set match in the rally scoring era.
• Lafayette and Lehigh are idle this weekend. After the Leopards visit La Salle, they return to the floor Tuesday to visit Fordham. The Mountain Hawks host Rutgers Tuesday.
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SARAH FROHNAPFEL, LAFAYETTE Sr., S, Stafford, Va.
Frohnapfel was instrumental for the Leopards last week, helping them jump out to their best start in program history at 5-0. After collecting 34 assists in a five-set win at St. Francis (N.Y.), she tallied 102 assists in three weekend contests at the Lafayette College Volleyball Tournament, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team. She averaged 7.56 assists per set for the week.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
KAREN CAMPBELL, BUCKNELL Fr., MB, Chesapeake, Va.
Campbell was named to the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational All-Tournament Team after leading the Bison in blocks and finishing third on the team in kills during the weekend. She led Bucknell with a career-high 10 blocks in Friday’s 3-1 win over Robert Morris, and added nine kills with just one error in Saturday’s four-set triumph against Loyola (Md.). She finished the weekend hitting .311 with 13 blocks.
ALLISON CAPPELLINO, AMERICAN Fr., L, Penfield, N.Y.
Cappellino averaged 3.00 digs per set at the Yale Classic, picking up 10 in a win over Stony Brook and 11 against Texas A&M.
ARIANA MANKUS, ARMY Sr., OH, Lisle, Ill.
Mankus made the All-Tournament Team at the TCU Nike Invitational after leading the Black Knights to a second-place finish. She scored 20 kills and 25 digs in a four-set loss to the host Horned Frogs.
JESSICA SERRATO, BUCKNELL Jr., OH, Millbrae, Calif.
Serrato hit .237 and averaged 3.82 kills and 3.09 digs per set as the Bison finished 2-1 at the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational. She logged a double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs against the Dukes.
BRIANNE GIANGIOBBE, LAFAYETTE Fr., OH, Bethlehem, Pa.
Giangiobbe scored a career-high 12 kills and hit .296 in Lafayette’s four-set win over St. Peter’s.