Oct. 15, 2013
Patriot League Volleyball Release - 10.15.13 (PDF)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — In their first meeting since last year’s five-set thriller in Hamilton, N.Y., for the 2012 Patriot League championship, American exacted a modest amount of revenge by capturing a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Colgate on Friday night at Cotterell Court. Trailing 2-0 on the road, the Eagles mounted a remarkable charge and rattled off three straight frames to take the match and hand the Raiders their first League loss of the season.
The two will square off again on Saturday, Nov. 16, the final day of the regular season, in Washington, D.C.
The win lifted the Eagles into a first-place tie with Army, winner of two League matches over the weekend against Lafayette and Navy.
A battle is emerging in the middle of the standings for a potential berth to the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh holds a one-match edge on Navy, though the teams are tied in the loss column. Loyola Maryland and Holy Cross are two back in the loss column.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
• Holy Cross and Army will battle in a home-and-home four days apart this week. The Black Knights will host Tuesday’s contest before the Crusaders are home for Saturday’s battle.
• Loyola Maryland will look to pick up ground on Navy when the two square off Wednesday in Baltimore at 7 p.m.
• Five of the next six matches to air on Patriot League Network will be critical League battles.
• American junior Kristyna Lindovska logged her fourth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs in Friday’s five-set win at Colgate.
• Army freshman Olivia Fairfield hit .708 in Saturday’s straight-sets win over Navy. It’s the highest hitting percentage in a League match this season and second overall this season by a student-athlete.
• Senior Megan Wilton had 14 kills and hit .524 in the Black Knights’ 3-0 win on Friday over Lafayette before adding six more strikes against Navy on Saturday.
• Army hit .363 as a team in the win over Navy.
• Sophomore Karen Campbell led Bucknell with a .533 hitting percentage (9-1-15) in Friday’s four-set win over Loyola Maryland. She also accounted for six blocks (one solo).
• Freshman Jordan Walker surpassed the century mark in kills with 10 on 26 tries with four errors (.231) while serving two aces against the Greyhounds.
• Lehigh senior Rachel Charles picked up a season-high 24 digs in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to visiting American.
• Lehigh still ranks third nationally with 1.89 aces per set. Charles is tied for 22nd in the country with Holy Cross’ Hannah Grace Stokes averaging 0.45 per frame.
• American continues to lead the League in hitting percentage (.273) and kills per set (13.90). The Eagles are 17th and 33rd, respectively, in Division I in those categories.
• Colgate’s 17.03 digs-per-set average ranks 13th in the NCAA.
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 (10.7-10.13)
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KRISTYNA LINDOVSKA, AMERICAN Jr., OH, Ostrava, Czech Republic
The Eagles got back to winning ways with two League wins over the weekend at Colgate and Lehigh, with Lindovska serving as a primary catalyst. The junior tallied a double-double of 15 kills and 12 digs to spark her team as American erased a 2-0 deficit and rattled off three straight frames for a 3-2 win over the Raiders on Friday in Hamilton, N.Y. She narrowly missed a double-double on Saturday with 18 kills and nine digs while hitting .417 in a four-set triumph at Lehigh. For the week, Lindovska played in nine sets and averaged 3.67 kills and 2.33 digs while hitting .338 and tallying six block assists.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
OLIVIA FAIRFIELD, ARMY Fr., MB, Iowa City, Iowa
Fairfield collects her second consecutive and third weekly award of the season after a dominating weekend in which she led Army to a pair of straight-set wins over League foes Lafayette and Navy. In Friday’s contest against the Leopards, Fairfield scored 10 kills on 16 attempts with just two errors to hit .500 in a 3-0 win. She bettered her numbers on Saturday with 17 kills and zero errors on 24 tries to hit an incredible .708 in a sweep of Navy. Fairfield finished the week hitting .625 and averaging 4.50 kills and 1.00 digs per frame. Her hitting percentage against the Mids was the highest for any player in League matches so far this season and second highest in all contests among League student-athletes.
MEGAN WILTON, ARMY Sr., MB, Roseville, Calif.
Averaged 3.33 kills and 1.00 blocks per set while hitting .455 in two League wins. Hit .524 with 14 kills in Friday’s straight-sets win over Lafayette.
KAREN CAMPBELL, BUCKNELL So., MB, Chesapeake, Va.
Hit .533 (9-1-15) with six total blocks (one solo) in Bucknell’s four-set win over Loyola Maryland on Friday.
RACHEL CHARLES, LEHIGH Sr., L, Farmington Hills, Mich.
Accumulated a season-high 24 digs in Saturday’s four-set loss to American.