Alex Karika and Navy can get into the Patriot League Tournament this weekend, but need a little bit help to get there.
Nov. 6, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — With three berths into the Patriot League Volleyball Tournament already sewn up, the battle for the final postseason bid comes down to Lehigh and Navy, which are separated by one match in the standings entering the last weekend of regular season play.
The Mountain Hawks have the edge in the head-to-head tiebreaker. Navy won the teams’ first meeting in five sets Sept. 28, but Lehigh rebounded with a sweep in their match Saturday afternoon. Lehigh won five sets to Navy’s three in the two head-to-head battles, giving the Mountain Hawks the tiebreaker advantage.
Navy’s path to the postseason requires winning both of its contests over the weekend at home against Bucknell Friday and Colgate Saturday, plus Lehigh must lose both contests at home to Holy Cross Friday and Army Saturday.
The other three bids were wrapped up last weekend. Colgate clinched no worse than a share of the regular season crown and, more importantly, the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with wins over Army and Holy Cross. American and Army wrapped up bids as well.
Patriot League Notebook
• Holy Cross senior Megan Lynch climbed into the Patriot League’s all-time top 10 in kills over the weekend. Her 1,459 for her career places her in ninth place. She is the only Crusader in the top 10 and second on the active list behind Army’s Ariana Mankus.
• Bucknell and Lafayette are each one win shy of 10 for the season. Should it happen, it would be just the second time and first since 2001 that seven League teams in the current eight-team incarnation reached double figures in victories.
• American owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Army, having won five sets to the Black Knights’ three in their two head-to-head meetings, which were split. Army won in five in the nation’s capital, and the Eagles posted a sweep at West Point in the second meeting.
• Colgate will host the four-team tournament for the first time since 1996. American and Army have combined to host each of the last 11 playoffs.
• Army extended its League-leading streak of League tournament appearances to 14, while American is 12-for-12 in qualifications since joining the League in 2001. Colgate has made six straight tournament appearances.
• The Eagles have won six of seven since being swept at Colgate Oct. 13. American hosts the Raiders Friday night.
• American’s Morgan Hendrix leads the League in hitting (.311), total blocks (124) and blocks per set (1.31).
• Bucknell and Colgate are tied for the League lead with 99 sets played this season. Lehigh has played the fewest at 84.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KAYLEE FIFER, COLGATE Jr., S, Lantana, Texas
Fifer led the Raiders to a weekend sweep of League opponents Army and Holy Cross, ultimately giving Colgate hosting responsibilities for the League tournament for the first time since 1996. Fifer averaged 9.4 assists per set and tallied 18 digs in Friday’s thrilling five-set win over the Black Knights. She tallied 30 helpers and seven digs in the Raiders’ sweep of Holy Cross Saturday. She also contributed to the Raiders’ striking offense, picking up 12 kills and hitting .273 in the eight sets. It’s Fifer’s first weekly honor of the season.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
KAREN CAMPBELL, BUCKNELL Fr., MH, Chesapeake, Va.
Campbell played all six sets last weekend for Bucknell, and hit .370 while averaging 2.5 kills per set. She had seven kills and hit .286 in Friday’s sweep of Holy Cross, and added eight strikes on 13 swings with two errors to hit .462 in Saturday’s loss to Army. She had two blocks against Holy Cross Friday, making her the first Bison to hit 100 in a season since 2006. Later in the match teammate Kebah Edoho reached the same plateau, and the duo are the first Bison tandem to hit 100 blocks in the same season since 1995. Campell nets her second Rookie of the Week honor this fall.
SARA RISHELL, AMERICAN So., OH/MB, Smithsburg, Md.
Rishell helped American go 2-0 against League opponents last weekend by averaging 4.17 kills per set and hitting .400. She tallied 25 kills in six sets across the two contests, and also logged four total blocks and a pair of digs.
ARIANA MANKUS, ARMY Sr., OH, Lisle, Ill.
Mankus scored a career-high 30 kills in the Black Knights’ five-set loss Friday at Colgate. She hit .377 for the week while averaging 4.62 kills and 2.38 digs per set.
TAYLOR POOLE, LEHIGH Sr., MB, Keller, Texas
Poole hit .250 and averaged 2.83 kills per set in Lehigh’s 1-1 weekend against League opponents. She had 11 kills, four blocks and two digs in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Navy.