Sept. 10, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell volleyball team will try to pick up where it left off at the Loyola Chicago Invitational last weekend as it heads into its first homestand of the season. After earning their first wins of 2008, the Bison (2-5) will host Canisius, Fairleigh Dickinson, Montreal and Saint Francis (Pa.) at the Bucknell Invitational on Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 13.
BISON VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK
About the Opponents
- The matchup between Canisius and Bucknell will be the ninth between the two schools, with Bucknell leading the series 7-1. The Bison were victorious 3-1 in their last meeting with the Golden Griffins, which took place at the 2005 Bucknell Invitational. Then a junior, Shannon Pitsch had 26 assists in the match a year ago.
After last weekend, Canisius is 3-1 in 2008 with wins coming against Providence, Hampton, and South Carolina State at the Tiny Laster Memorial Tournament at the end of August. Leading Canisius statistically are senior Morgan Ammons with 45 kills (3.45/set), junior Michelle Godfrey with 19 blocks (1.35/set) and freshman Janelle Davis with 138 assists (9.2/set). Defensively, the Golden Griffins are led by senior Sarah Podlesh who has 53 digs (4.13/set).
Bucknell and Canisius will play at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.
- Fairleigh Dickinson comes to Bucknell trailing 5-2 in the series. The schools last met at the 2003 Bucknell Invitational with the Bison earning a 3-1 win.
The Knights, which amassed a 5-3 record after last weekend, have earned two wins against Delaware State University, as well as one against Saint Peter's College and the Patriot League's Lafayette. Knights to watch include seniors Lauren Boothby and Megan Philbrick, who have been leading the team in kills, as well as assist leaders senior Karolina Kowalski and freshman Sarah Willey. Freshman libero Kelsey Semler also has had a strong early season.
Bucknell and Fairleigh Dickinson will play at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.
- The Carabins of the University of Montreal head south for the second consecutive year to face the Bison. Montreal came away with the win, 3-1, when the two teams met at the Cornell Invitational in 2007. Bucknell took the first set off the Carabins, 31-29, but the Canadian squad took the final sets, 30-19, 30-25 and 30-19.
Leading the Carabins offensively are Laetitia Tchoualack, who totaled 255 kills (4.27/set) in 2007, and Nadine Alphonse with 157 kills (2.53/set). Giulia Sarrapuchiello led with 530 assists (8.69/set) last year. The Invitational will be Montreal's first competition of its 2008-09 schedule.
Bucknell and Montreal will play an exhibition match at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.
- The series between Bucknell and Saint Francis (Pa.) has been a long one, with Bucknell leading 29-5. The Bison and the Red Flash met twice in 2007. When the schools met in the 2007 Bucknell Invitational, the Orange and Blue earned a 3-0 victory, and then-freshman Kaitlin Segal hit .400 to lead the team with 15 kills. Pitsch put together a double-double with 49 assists and 13 digs. In the second matchup of the season, Bucknell again came out on top, 3-1. Allison Gittings, then a sophomore, recorded a career high in assists with 51.
The Red Flash are 1-7 through their first eight games in 2008, their lone win coming in their season opener against Marist at the Duquesne Tournament on Aug. 29. Players to watch from Saint Francis (Pa.) include senior Kristin Buter and junior Shirley Miller, who have been leading the attacking game for the Red Flash. Saint Francis (Pa.) has also relied on sophomore Alexa Ebert and junior Rikki Myers in the assists category.
Bucknell and Saint Francis (Pa.) will play at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12.
Bucknell Invitational Schedule
Friday, Sept. 12
Saint Francis (Pa.) vs. Montreal (exh.) - 2 p.m.
Bucknell vs. Montreal (exh.) - 4 p.m.
Canisius vs. Fairleigh Dickinson - 6 p.m.
Bucknell vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) - 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Montreal vs. Canisius (exh.) - 8:30 a.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Saint Francis (Pa. ) - 10:30 a.m.
Bucknell vs. Canisius - 12 p.m.
Montreal vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (exh.) - 2 p.m.
Canisius vs. Saint Francis (Pa.) - 3:30 p.m.
Bucknell vs. Fairleigh Dickinson - 5:30 p.m.
About the Bison
- Bucknell earned its first wins of the 2008 season at the Loyola Chicago Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Orange and Blue started the run with a tight 3-2 victory over the University of Tennessee at Martin. Pitsch had her best assist total of 2008 with 44. A trio of hitters benefited from Pitsch's output. Segal totaled 19 kills, while freshman Kyleigh McAhren had 12 and sophomore Heidi Kamp had 11. The team was strong defensively as well, with 19 digs from freshman libero Emily Sawanobori and 12 from Segal.
- The Bison's second win came just hours after their first, when they took a 3-1 victory over Sam Houston State. Segal again led the squad with 17 kills, and McAhren and classmate Katie Baumgarten contributed seven apiece. Against the Bearkats, the Bison had two players with double-digit assists in Pitsch (23) and Gittings (14). Senior Sheena Czipri led the defensive game with 11 digs.
- Bucknell started the Loyola Chicago Invitational more slowly, dropping the first two matches, 3-0, to Loyola Chicago and Evansville.
- Segal's strong play during the weekend earned her all-tournament honors at the Loyola Chicago Invitational.
- With the first seven matches of the season, Pitsch has increased her career assists total to 2,972. The senior co-captain needs just 100 more to push her ahead of Amy Turnshek 1994-97 and make her the all-time leader in Bucknell history.
- After wrapping up the tournament at Davis Gym, Bucknell will hit the road for the third time this season. As part of the Villanova Invitational, the Bison will take on the host Wildcats at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19. The tournament continues 10 a.m. versus Penn and 4:30 p.m. against La Salle on Saturday, Sept. 20.