Sept. 16, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell volleyball will close out its early-season tournament schedule with the Columbia Classic in New York this weekend. The Bison (2-7) open play with Fairleigh Dickinson at 5 p.m. on Friday, looking to bring home a win in its third straight invitational. Bucknell will follow the contest with the Knights by taking on Columbia at 11 a.m. and Fordham at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Live stats will be available at GoColumbiaLions.com.
ABOUT THE BISON
- Bucknell went 1-2 at the Niagara/Canisius Invitational last weekend, taking a four-set victory (25-22, 25-27, 25-19, 25-22) over Canisius on Saturday. Both of the Bison’s wins this season have come in more than three sets.
- Ragin Jackson (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) was named to the Niagara/Canisius Invitational All-Tournament Team. The sophomore led the team in blocks (8) and attack percentage (.364) and finished second in kills (19). Jackson posted her best numbers against the Golden Griffins where she totaled a season-best 14 kills.
- With 26 total blocks, Jackson is part of a Bison trio that is posting strong numbers on the front line this season. Heidi Kamp (Eugene, Ore./Henry D. Sheldon) is second on the team in blocks with 25, while Anne Ellenberger (Phoenix, Ariz./Horizon Honors) is third with 22. Each member of the trio ranks in the top 10 in the Patriot League in total blocks.
- Jackson’s name can also be seen among the league’s leaders in attack percentage. With an early-season mark of .291, the middle hitter is fourth in the Patriot League. Rachel Rodriguez (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) is also making her mark, taking seventh in assists (4.26/set) and 10th in aces (0.32/set).
- Five Bison finished last weekend with double-digit kills. Leading the group was Kamp with 24, followed by Jackson (19), Morgan Mientus (Chicago, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep) (17), Kyleigh McAhren (Napa, Calif./Justin-Siena) (13) and Kristen Titley (Coral Gables, Fla./Palmer Trinity School) (10).
- Mientus is doing her best to leave her mark during her freshman campaign. Despite playing in just six of the team’s nine matches, Mientus leads the squad in kills per set (2.06) and ranks fourth in total kills (35). That total also places her first among freshmen.
- Bucknell’s back row is proving that it is not something to be ignored. Emily Sawanobori (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) holds the team’s top mark in digs with 68 (2.34/set). Not far behind are Rodriguez with 57 (1.84/set) and Leylin Marroquin (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch) with 52 (1.68/set).
- Kamp continued her record-breaking efforts on the blocking front last weekend, tallying five block assists through three matches. That brought her career total to 232, just eight shy of passing Hall of Famer Kristin Steel’s mark of 239. After eight more block assists, Kamp will take over third place on the program ledger. The senior co-captain needs 16 total blocks to break onto that top-five list as well.
- The last time Bucknell and Fairleigh Dickinson met, the Bison came away with a 3-1 win at the Bucknell Invitational, bringing the series record to 6-2. McAhren finished with 12 kills and three service aces, while Kamp had five blocks. Bucknell has won five of the last six matches against Fairleigh Dickinson.
- Bucknell leads in the all-time series with Columbia as well, holding a 7-4 edge. The Bison have swept the Lions in each of their last three meetings, running from 1996-98.
- Bucknell holds an 8-7 series advantage over Fordham despite falling in each of the teams last three meetings. The Bison had a streak of their own before that however, having claimed five of the previous six matches. When they last met in 2003, the Rams pulled out a 3-2 victory.
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS
- Fairleigh Dickinson, which was picked seventh in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, enters the weekend with a 4-8 overall record in 2010. The Knights have faced two Patriot League opponents this year, losing 3-0 to both Army and Lafayette. Most recently, they fell 3-0 to Providence, a team that Bucknell defeated in five sets at its home invitational.
- Meaghan Wheeler leads Fairleigh Dickinson in kills with 110 (2.62/set) so far this year. Sarah Willey is proving to be the Knights’ leading setter for yet another season, having tallied 379 (9.02/set) in 2010. The junior surpassed the 1,000-assists mark to set the team’s high mark last season. Defensively, the Knights rely on Kelsey Semler for digs with 205 (4.88/set) and Sarah Berkland for blocks with 39 (0.93/set).
ABOUT THE LIONS
- With a 4-2 record, Columbia is the only team to open the tournament with a winning record. After dropping their first two matches of the season, the lions claimed wins over St. Francis (N.Y.), Lafayette, Central Connecticut State and Iona. Columbia will face Fordham on Friday before hosting the Bison.
- Megan Gaughn, an All-Ivy League selection a year ago, leads the team in kills with 72 (3.43/set) and digs with 61 (2.90/set) in 2010. Colleen Brennan is tops in assists with 120 (6.67/set), while Madeline Rumer leads in blocks with 17 (0.94/set). Close behind Rumer is Monique Roberts, who received All-Ivy League honorable mention last season, with 12 blocks.
ABOUT THE RAMS
- Fordham, which is last on Bucknell’s list of opponents this weekend, enters play with a 6-6 record. The Rams opened the season with four straight victories, including a straight-sets win over Holy Cross. They have lost their last two matches, however, falling to Stony Brook and St. John’s.
- Since being named Second Team All-Atlantic 10 last season, Katie Wells has continued to lead Fordham in kills. The senior has 107 kills (2.61) this season in addition to 24 blocks (0.59/set), which ranks second on the squad. Only Christi Griffiths has better blocking numbers with 28 total rejections (0.68/set). Sara Konkel leads in assists with 292 (9.12/set), and Brittany Daulton has claimed a team-best 104 digs (2.67/set).
Bucknell’s weekend schedules will now be reduced to just two matches a week as Patriot League action gets underway. The Bison open with American at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, followed by Navy at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. Both matches will be in Davis Gym with live stats on GameTracker available at BucknellBison.com.