Oct. 1, 2013
Patriot League Volleyball Release - 10.1.13 (PDF)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — All nine teams have opened their Patriot League slates, with defending champion Colgate and 2012 runner-up American sitting in a tie atop the League standings in the early going. The schedule continues to ramp up this week with a midweek League contest when American hosts Loyola Maryland on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eight more League matches will play out over the weekend, with three scheduled to air on Patriot League Network.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
• Several clashes at the top of the League standings are set for this weekend, including Colgate at Lehigh on Friday, Army at American on Saturday and Colgate at Navy on Saturday.
• Colgate senior Kaylee Fifer eclipsed the 3,000-assist plateau over the weekend. She now has 3,044 for her career as the League’s active leader.
• Army senior D.J. Phee and Lehigh senior Rachel Charles moved up the League’s all-time dig charts last week. Phee is now third with 1,589 for her career, while Charles is sixth with 1,475. Phee is 21 away from second all-time, and Charles is 107 shy of fifth.
• Army head coach Barry Goldberg, who captured his 600th career win earlier this season, improved to 160-10 when coaching in League matches for an incredible .941 win percentage.
• Loyola Maryland won its first Patriot League contest in any sport with Saturday’s four-set victory at Lafayette.
• Junior Greyhound setter Lauren Andersen dished 75 assists over the weekend in seven sets, while the team’s .421 hitting percentage against the Leopards was its best showing in at least the last 12 seasons.
• Lehigh’s 4-1 start to League play is its best since 2002, while its 12 victories matches last year’s win total.
• Army senior middle blocker Megan Wilton hit a season-best .476 in Friday’s four-set loss at Colgate.
• Holy Cross rookie right-side hitter Natalie Welsch averaged 3.14 kills and hit .250 last week.
• The League has clinched a winning non-League record this season. The nine members are a combined 58-43 (.574) with seven regular-season non-League tilts remaining.
• Four teams - Lehigh (third), Lafayette (29th), Loyola (38th) and Colgate (44th) rank in the top 50 in Division I in aces per set, while six players from five schools rank in the top 50 in the category individually.
• American’s Kelly McCaddin leads the League and is 15th in the country in hitting (.434).
Patriot League Notebook
KNOW YOUR TIEBREAKERS
As the League season continues on, tiebreakers will become an essential tool for seeding teams for the upcoming Patriot League Tournament, set for Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 23-24 on the campus of the No. 1 seed. Head-to-head match results are the primary tiebreaker, with individual sets won in those contests also used to separate teams. In the event of a multi-way tie, match results (and sets won) against all other teams in the tie are utilized. If a tie remains in both two-way or multi-way after the head-to-head process is performed, then records against the rest of the League are compared beginning at the top of the standings and moving down.
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 matches 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.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (9.23-9.29)
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JULIE CRUM, AMERICAN Sr., OH, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Crum collects her second straight weekly award after leading American to a 3-0 week, including victories in the Eagles’ first two League matches of the campaign. After posting a 10-kills, 15-dig double-double on Wednesday in a five-set win over UMBC, Crum scored 10 kills in Friday’s straight-sets victory at Lafayette in her team’s League opener. The senior was a main contributor on offense against Saturday with 15 kills and a .324 hitting percentage in another 3-0 win, this time at Bucknell. For the week Crum averaged 3.18 kills per set and hit .244, and upped those numbers to 4.17 and .263 against League opponents. She also averaged 2.45 digs per set across 11 sets.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
KATHLEEN HARRIS, COLGATE Fr., OH, Playa del Rey, Calif.
Harris continued her strong rookie campaign with another standout week, this time averaging 2.86 kills and 3.00 digs per set as defending champion Colgate opened its League slate 2-0 with wins of 3-1 over Army on Friday and 3-0 against Holy Cross on Saturday. Harris posted her seventh double-double of the season with 13 kills and 16 digs while committing just three errors on 45 swings in Friday’s four-set win over the Black Knights. Harris saw more limited time in Saturday’s straight-sets win over the Crusaders and still accumulated seven kills and five digs while hitting .238. It’s Harris’ second weekly honor of the season.
KAYLEE FIFER, COLGATE Sr., S, Lantana, Texas
Notched a pair of double-doubles in the Raiders’ 2-0 opening weekend of League play. Logged 42 assists and 12 digs in Friday’s 3-1 win over Army, and added 19 dishes and 10 digs in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Holy Cross.
KAYLYNN GENEMARAS, LEHIGH Jr., OH, Metairie, La.
Led the Mountain Hawks in kills in both League wins, including a 16-kill performance in Saturday’s four-set win over visiting Navy. Hit .320 for the week while averaging 3.43 kills.
LAUREN ANDERSEN, LOYOLA MARYLAND Jr., S, Lakeland, Fla.
Averaged 10.71 assists and 2.71 digs per set during Loyola’s 1-1 weekend in League play. Narrowly missed a triple-double with seven kills, 48 assists and 12 digs in the Greyhounds’ four-set win at Lafayette on Saturday.
ERIN FORTNER, NAVY Sr., Opp., Villa Hills, Ky.
Hit .317 and averaged 3.57 kills and 2.00 digs per set during a 1-1 League weekend. Logged 10 kills and hit .381 in a sweep at Bucknell on Friday. Moved to eighth overall at Navy and fifth in the rally scoring era with 841 career kills.