Oct. 8, 2013
Patriot League Volleyball Release - 10.8.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — After another 2-0 weekend in Patriot League play, defending champion Colgate sits alone atop the conference standings entering Friday’s rematch with 2012 runner-up American in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Raiders won at Lehigh and Navy last weekend to improve to 4-0 in the League. The Eagles will enter Friday’s showdown with a 4-1 League mark after falling to Army at home on Saturday. Speaking of the Black Knights, they’ll look to continue their string of strong play in the League when they host Lafayette on Friday and Navy on Saturday.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
• Army senior D.J. Phee moved into second place on the League’s all-time digs chart over the weekend. She stands with 1,626 for her career. Colgate’s Jackie Adlam holds the record of 1,989 set from 2005-08.
• Lehigh senior Rachel Charles is also in the League’s all-time top 10 in digs. She’s sixth with 1,511 for her career.
• Colgate senior Kaylee Fifer has reached the 40-assist mark in eight matches this season, and has double-doubles in all four League contests.
• Raider freshman Kathleen Harris had another solid week, averaging 3.13 kills and 2.63 digs in a pair of four-set League wins.
• American senior Julie Crum paced the Eagles last week hitting .439 with 3.50 kills and 2.60 digs in 10 sets against League opponents. She ranks seventh in the League at 3.03 kills per set, and 10th in hitting at a career-high .280.
• American’s eight-match win streak ended with Saturday’s loss to Army. The Eagles had a 10-match win streak to open the season.
• Army senior Margaux Jarka logged a double-double with 17 kills and 12 digs in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Army. She also contributed 15 kills, hit .361 and just missed a double-double with eight digs in Friday’s five-set win at Loyola Maryland.
• Loyola Maryland picked up its second Patriot League win, a four-set victory Saturday over Holy Cross.
• The Greyhounds posted a season-high 90 digs in Saturday’s win over the Crusaders. Rookie Micah Duzey led with a career-high 25 digs in that match, while Lauren Andersen had 16 and Faye Lukas added 13.
• Jac Bullock’s 19 kills against Holy Cross were a season high.
• Lafayette picked up its first League victory of the season on Sunday, a 3-1 decision over Bucknell at home.
• Navy has three players finish its four-set match against Colgate with at least five blocks. Alex Cassel led the way with seven, followed by Erin Fortner with six and Katie Sylakowski with five.
• A pair of League teams rank in the top 10 in NCAA categories. Lehigh sits third in aces per set (1.94), while Colgate’s 17.52 digs per set are seventh.
• American’s Kelly McCaddin continues to lead the League and sits 13th in Division I in hitting (.432). As a team, the Eagles are 14th in the country at .283.
• Holy Cross visits Bryant Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the only non-League action scheduled over the next seven days. The Crusaders won a 3-2 decision on Sept. 14 against the Bulldogs at the Brown Invitational in Providence, R.I.
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 (9.30-10.6)
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KAYLEE FIFER, COLGATE Sr., S, Lantana, Texas
The facilitator in Colgate’s offense, Fifer picks up her first weekly award of the season after powering the Raider attack with 11.88 assists per set in a pair of four-set wins on the road. She tallied 50 assists while pitching in 17 digs and five kills in Friday’s 3-1 win at Lehigh, and followed it up with 45 assists and 12 digs for her fourth straight double-double in League play in Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Navy. Fifer’s final stat line for the week included a .263 hitting percentage while tallying 3.63 digs per set. She’s taken the League lead in assists with 608 and is second with 10.31 per set.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
OLIVIA FAIRFIELD, ARMY Fr., OH, Iowa City, Iowa
Fairfield collects her second Rookie of the Week honor in the last three weeks after hitting .417 with 3.22 kills and 1.44 blocks per set in a pair of key Patriot League wins on the road. She started the weekend with 15 kills on 28 tries with three errors (.429) in Friday’s 3-2 win at Loyola Maryland. In addition to her offensive contributions, she also came up with seven total blocks at the next, with six of the assisted variety. On Saturday she put together another stellar outing with 14 kills on 32 swings with just one error (.406) with six blocks (one solo) as Army handed American its first League loss of the season, 3-1. Fairfield, a rookie from Iowa City, Iowa, finished the weekend hitting .417 (29-4-60) with 13 total blocks (two solo).
JULIE CRUM, AMERICAN Sr., OH, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Hit .439 and averaged 3.50 kills and 2.60 digs during the Eagles’ 2-1 week in League play. Hit 10 kills with no errors in Wednesday’s sweep of Loyola Maryland, and committed just one in Friday’s straight-sets win over Holy Cross.
MARGAUX JARKA, ARMY Sr., OH, Rolling Prairie, Ind.
Averaged 3.56 kills and 2.22 digs while hitting .321 in two League victories. After hitting .361 in a thrilling five-set win at Loyola Maryland, added 17 kills and 12 digs in a four-set win at American.
AMY MATULA, LEHIGH So., S, Memphis, Tenn.
Averaged 11.29 assists and contributed eight kills to hit .444 during a 1-1 stretch in League play for the Mountain Hawks. Notched 40 assists (13.33 per set) in Saturday’s straight-sets win over Bucknell.
JAC BULLOCK, LOYOLA MARYLAND Sr., MB, Aubrey, Texas
Hit .413 while averaging 3.44 kills in a 1-1 weekend for the Greyhounds. Notched 19 kills on 38 tries with one error (.474) in Saturday’s sweep of Holy Cross. Also hit .320 in Friday’s five-set loss to Army.