Oct. 11, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. – It’s back to Patriot League play for Bucknell volleyball, which hosts American and Navy at Davis Gym this weekend. The Bison (4-16, 0-5 PL) will take on the Eagles at 7 p.m. on Friday, looking for their first win in the series since 1996. Play resumes at 5 p.m. on Saturday against the Midshipmen, a team Bucknell has defeated in six of their last eight meetings. Live stats on GameTracker will be available at BucknellBison.com for both matches.
- Bucknell played one of its best matches of the season against Colgate last Thursday, but the Bison still ended their week at 0-3 after a tough trip to California.
- The Bison made a change in their starting libero against the Raiders and the move paid off for Katie Price (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake). The freshman registered a career-high 18 digs against Colgate and equaled that mark in the next match at CSU Bakersfield. In the three matches since becoming the starting libero, Price is averaging 4.60 digs per set. She has 1.78 per set for the season.
- With nine regular-season matches remaining on the schedule, Kebah Edoho (Odenton, Md./Arundel) has already set single-season highs in kills and blocks. The senior has 136 kills this fall, two better than she had all of last season, and 73 total blocks.
- Kat Tauscher (Washington, D.C./National Cathedral School) and Meghan Wentzel (San Anselmo, Calif./The Branson School) have split the setting duties much of this season and both have seen their share of success. Tauscher is averaging 5.54 assists per set with a season-high 41 helpers at Holy Cross a few weeks ago. Wentzel’s average comes in at 4.02, while her season high is 33, which came against Loyola (Md.) in early September. Tauscher has started to distance herself from her younger teammate in the last 10 matches, however, with a 6.36 assist average compared to 3.44 for Wentzel. The senior led just 4.78 assist/per set to 4.42 through the first 10 matches of the year.
- Bucknell has seen some of its greatest success this year when playing on its home court. Both of the Bison’s straight-sets wins have come at Davis Gym, and stats have gotten a bit of a boost in Lewisburg as well. Bucknell has a .175 attack percentage at home, more than 10 points higher than its overall percentage. The Bison are also holding opponents to a .131 attack percentage at Davis Gym, compared to .197 overall. Kills (11.23/set) and assists (10.62.set) averages are also higher at home. Bucknell will play its next four matches at Davis Gym. Following American and Navy, the Bison host Lehigh and Lafayette.
- Bucknell has dropped each of its last seven matches. That is the longest streak since the Bison lost 10 in a row at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010.
- In Patriot League play, Bucknell is among the leaders in digs, service aces and blocks. The Bison are third in digs (16.21/set) as a team and fourth in aces (1.37/set) and blocks (2.47/set).
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
- American makes its way to Lewisburg with an 11-7 record overall and a 3-2 mark in the Patriot League. The Eagles beat Holy Cross and Lafayette in straight sets and Navy in five. They lost five-set bouts to Army and Lehigh. This marks the first time since 2009, and only the second time since American joined the league, that the Eagles have lost more than one Patriot League match in a season. American has gone 14-0 six times and 13-1 four more.
- The Eagles are leading the Patriot League in hitting percentage (.245), opponent hitting percentage (.093) and blocks (2.90/set) this fall. Morgan Hendrix also has the league’s top marks in hitting percentage (.424) and blocks (1.57/set).
- American was voted first in the Patriot League Preseason Poll after going 23-11 overall and 13-1 in the league last year. Sophomore Sara Rishell, the 2011 Player and Rookie of the Year, was voted the 2012 Preseason Player of the Year. The Eagles also return their three other all-league selections from last year, Juliana Crum, Rebecca Heath and Monika Smidova as well as Patriot League Coach of the Year Barry Goldberg.
- American has a 31-1 lead in the series with Bucknell. The Bison’s only win came in five sets in 1996. Each of the last four matches, and 13 of the last 15, has been decided in straight sets.
- American won 25-22, 25-11, 25-16 when the two teams met in Washington, D.C., last year. Morgan Mientus (Chicago, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep) led the Bison with 10 kills and five digs. Crum, Rishell and Heath each had at least 11 kills as American finished with an attack percentage of .413 and held Bucknell to .171. Last fall’s meeting in Lewisburg went a similar direction with recent graduate Kyleigh McAhren totaling seven kills for Bucknell. Rishell and Crum each chipped in 10 kills in the 25-21, 25-13, 25-13 American win. The Eagles hit .407 in that matchup, while the Bison were at .026.
SCOUTING THE MIDSHIPMEN
- Navy has seen a resurgence this fall, entering the weekend with a 7-10 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Patriot League. The Mids finished the 2011 campaign at 6-23 and 1-13. Despite finishing eighth in last year’s league standings, the Mids were voted seventh in this year’s Patriot League Preseason Poll.
- In 2012 conference action, Navy has wins over Holy Cross (3-0), Lehigh (3-2) and Lafayette (3-2). Its two losses came against Army (3-1) and American (3-2). Freshman Alex Karika, a Patriot League Rookie of the Week in mid-September, is leading the conference in assists with 10.14 per set.
- Bucknell holds a slight 21-20 edge over Navy in the all-time series. The Bison have won six of the last eight meetings and three of the last four played out at Davis Gym.
- Bucknell and Navy have played their share of back-and-forth matches recently. The last time a contest between the two squads was decided in straight sets was in 2009. The Mids came away with the win.
- After falling behind two sets to none in Annapolis, Md., last year, Navy rallied for a five-set win against Bucknell, 18-25, 19-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-13. Jessica Serrato (Millbrae, Calif./Saint Ignatius College Prep) finished with what is still a career-best 21 kills. Bucknell got a bit of revenge when the Mids came to Lewisburg later in the season, winning 3-1 by a score of 25-27, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22. McAhren led with 15 kills. Navy’s Erin Fortner, who leads the team in kills this season, had a match-high 20 kills and 14 digs in that bout.
The second round of Patriot League play will get underway with Lehigh (Oct. 19) and Lafayette (Oct. 20) making the trip to Lewisburg. Bucknell lost in four sets to both teams when they played earlier this season.