Nov. 2, 2009
Center Valley, Pa. — Army remains perfect and Lehigh outlasts Lafayette to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot, and both schools won weekly awards from the Patriot League Monday.
Army, which defeated Holy Cross to move to 10-0, won its eighth Rookie of the Week award as freshman Francine Vasquez garnered her third weekly award.
Lehigh’s Angelika Kopacz was named the Player of the Week for her efforts in the Mountain Hawks’ 3-2 win over Lafayette Friday.
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Player of the Week (10.26.09-11.1.09)
Angelika Kopacz, Lehigh So., OH, Rutherford, N.J./Rutherford Kopacz collected her second Player of the Week award with a double-double in a 3-2 win over League-rival Lafayette Friday. Rallying from behind, she led the charge with 16 kills and 15 digs. She also had two aces and an assist in the big win.
Rookie of the Week (10.26.09-11.1.09)
Francine Vasquez, Army Fr., RS/OH, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos Vasquez won her third Rookie of the Week award and Army’s eighth this season with a double-double against Holy Cross Saturday. She notched 10 kills and 11 digs in a 3-0 sweep. She posted a .318 attack percentage and had two blocks.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week
Ariana Mankus, Army Fr., OH, Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy Mankus posted 15 kills and five digs in a 3-0 win over Holy Cross on Saturday. She also had a service ace.
Kaitlin Segal, Bucknell Jr., OH, Pacific Palisades, Calif./Harvard-Westlake Segal led the Bison with 12 kills and eight digs in a 3-0 loss to Colgate on Friday.
Maureen Colligan, Colgate So., OH, Odessa, Fla./Acad. of the Holy Names Colligan led the Raiders to two wins last week, posting 24 kills, four digs and four blocks.
Patriot League Notebook
All Signs Point To West Point
Army rolled through the first half of the League schedule, winning all seven matches, and started the second half of the League slate with two wins to clinch a berth into the Patriot League Tournament. At 10-0, the Black Knights can seal up the No. 1 seed with two wins this weekend (or a win and a Colgate loss, or two Colgate losses and an American loss). Colgate (8-2) clinched a playoff spot last week and American (7-3) can clinch a berth this weekend with two wins and a Lehigh loss (or a win and two Lehigh losses).
It’s getting younger among the top teams in the League this season. The League-leading Army Black Knights have been powered by five-time Rookie of the Week Ariana Mankus, while second-place Colgate has enjoyed the contributions from freshman Kaleigh Durket. Third-place American also has found a gem in setter Krysta Cicala, who is second the League in assists with 887 (10.44 per set). Mankus is the League leader in kills with 348 (3.82), while Durket is fifth 254 (3.17). Holy Cross freshman Megan Lynch also is in the top five in kills at No. 2 with 319 (3.51). Bucknell freshman Ragin Jackson is fifth in the League in blocks per set with 0.86 (64). Army has led the way in the freshman category by taking seven of the first nine Rookie of the Week awards with Ariana Mankus winning five times and Francine Vasquez winning three times.
Set To Move Into Top Three
Army’s Maureen Bannon leads the League in assists with 928 and she’s been quickly climbing the League’s all-time list. Outside the top 10 when the season began, Bannon has made her way to fourth place and with five regular-season matches remaining, she has her eyes set on the top three. With her 83 assists in the last two weeks, Bannon jumped from sixth to fourth with a career total of 3,961. She’s averaging 38.6 assists per match and she’s 131 away from moving into third place. She is 230 away from second and 419 away from tying the League record. She’s not the only League setter climbing the list as Colgate’s Meghan Fanta is ranked seventh with 3,819 assists. Fanta’s 3,819 assists is a school record at Colgate. Fanta is ranked seventh in the League in 2009 with 6.56 assists per set, while Bannon is first with 10.55. American freshman Krysta Cicala is second in the League with 10.44 per set.
Keep Track of the Patriot League Through Social Media
In addition to visiting www.patriotleague.org, League fans and followers have plenty of new ways to stay updated and involved during the 2009 season and beyond. The Patriot League has accounts on Facebook and Twitter, and has now started a blog to give more information on the action on the field. All three accounts are accessible through the multimedia link at the right-hand sidebar on the front page of www.patriotleague.org.
American The Eagles improved to 7-3 in League play with a 3-0 win over Navy Thursday. American will host a pair of matches this weekend, including a contest against first-place Army at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Eagles also will host Holy Cross at 7 p.m. Friday. With two wins and a Lehigh loss, American can clinch a playoff berth.
Army The Black Knights advanced their winning streak to 14 matches with a 3-0 win over Holy Cross on Saturday. Army swept Holy Cross during the regular season for the fourth year in a row and has won eight straight against the Crusaders. Junior Amanda Rowell led all players with a .526 hitting percentage on Saturday, totaling 12 kills. Head coach Alma Kovaci inched closer to her 75th career victory. She is now 72-11 (.870) in her three-year tenure with the Black Knights. Army is now 10-0 in the League and can clinch home-court advantage and the No. 1 seed with two wins this weekend. Army will travel to Navy at 7 p.m. Friday and American at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Bucknell The Bison were swept in their match against Colgate Friday. Bucknell will return to the court on Friday at 7 p.m. at Lehigh. The Bison also will travel to Lafayette at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Colgate The Raiders went 2-0 last week, winning a non-League match against Binghamton 3-2 and a League match 3-0 over Bucknell. The Raiders clinched a berth into the Patriot League Tournament and need two wins and two American losses to lock up the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Raiders still are in the running for the No. 1 seed, but they’ll need some help from other teams. Colgate will compete at Lafayette at 7 p.m. Friday and at Lehigh at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Holy Cross The Crusaders were swept in three sets against Army on Saturday. Holy Cross will return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to American. The Crusaders will also compete at Navy at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Lafayette The Leopards lost in five sets to Lehigh Friday night. Lafayette will return to the court when it hosts Colgate at 7 p.m. Friday and Bucknell at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks rallied to defeat Lafayette 3-2 Friday night and move into fourth place in the League standings. Jessica Kudirka, who played the entire match as the setter, recorded a new career-high in assists with 47. The Mountain Hawks will return to the court with home matches against Bucknell at 7 p.m. Friday and Colgate at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Navy The Midshipmen lost 3-0 to American on Thursday. Navy will host a pair of matches this weekend, beginning with a rivalry match against Army at 7 p.m. Friday. The Midshipmen also will host Holy Cross at 2 p.m. Saturday.