Nov. 4, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Every match is vital for Bucknell volleyball as it heads into the final stretch of the 2010 regular season looking for its return to the Patriot League Tournament. The Bison will try to take a few steps closer to their postseason goals when they host Lehigh on Bison Vision at 7 p.m. on Friday. Action in Davis Gym continues at 5 p.m. on Saturday for a Bucknell-Lafayette matchup. Live stats on GameTracker will be available for both contests.
ABOUT THE BISON
- Rachel Rodriguez (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) collected Bucknell volleyball’s first major award of the season when she was selected as an ESPN Academic All-District II First Team honoree on Thursday. The senior co-captain, who has a 3.98 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in accounting, is the only Patriot League player named to an all-district squad. She will now move on to the Academic All-America ballot, which will be voted on later this month.
- In its last match, Bucknell (8-14, 6-4) dropped a four-setter to Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. Heidi Kamp (Eugene, Ore./Henry D. Sheldon) led the Bison with 12 kills and six blocks, but it was not enough to keep the team from losing back-to-back matches for the first time since mid-September.
- With last Saturday’s outcome, Bucknell and Colgate are now tied for third in the Patriot League standings and will battle it out for the remaining two berths in the Patriot League Tournament. American and Army have already secured their spots in the postseason.
- Ragin Jackson (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) continues to make her presence felt on the front line, leading the team in total blocks and block solos. The sophomore accounts for 18 of Bucknell’s 38 block solos this fall, while her 73 total rejections is just ahead of her elder teammate Kamp.
- Katie Baumgarten (South Pasadena, Calif./South Pasadena) became the first Bison to reach both 100 kills and 100 digs this season. With four regular-season matches still remaining, the junior has 117 kills and 116 digs. Both are single-season highs for Baumgarten.
- Kat Tauscher (Washington, D.C./National Cathedral School) seems to be adjusting to her new role on the team just fine. After seeing limited time at the setter position a year ago, Tauscher has 261 assists in 2010. The sophomore has also reached double-digit assists in 11 of her last 12 matches, including two outings with 20 or better.
- Leylin Marroquin (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch) has been putting up similar numbers to Tauscher’s but in the digs column. Marroquin has hit the double-figure mark in 11 of her last 13 matches. That includes a career-best mark of 22 digs against Colgate on Oct. 8. Marroquin leads the team in digs this season with 218.
- Bucknell has been receiving contributions from every class this fall with the freshmen and sophomores have been particularly strong defensively. The Bison rookies have totaled 408 digs for 40.8 percent of the team’s total, while the sophomore cohort is responsible for 36.7 percent of Bucknell’s blocks. Offensively, the junior class has 250 kills, representing 31.5 percent of the Bison’s successful attacks, and the seniors have 387 assists for 53.6 percent.
- Several Bison have been enjoying the switch to Patriot League play. Baumgarten has recorded better than 70 percent of her kills and digs on the season against league foes. After totaling 33 kills (1.38/set) in non-conference action, Baumgarten improved to 84 (2.15/set) in the last 10 matches. Her 31 digs (1.29/set) in non-conference contests also jumped up to 85 (2.18/set) in league play. Kristen Titley (Coral Gables, Fla./Palmer Trinity School) saw similar improvement, going from 25 kills (0.93/set) in the first 12 matches of the year to 44 kills (1.76/set) more recently, as did Marroquin. Marroquin has 79 digs (1.93/set) in non-conference play and 139 (3.56/set) against league opponents.
- In Bucknell’s sweep over Lehigh (25-21, 25-20, 25-22) last month, Baumgarten set then-career highs in kills (10) and digs (14). Despite the win, the Bison still trail 35-25 in the all-time series with the Mountain Hawks.
- Baumgarten’s performance against Lehigh came on the heels of a strong outing the previous night opposite Lafayette. The junior’s eight kills and 12 digs led the Bison to a three-set victory (25-14, 25-15, 33-31). Jackson also finished with five blocks, including three of the solo variety.
- Bucknell’s series mark against Lafayette is now 32-20. The Bison have also claimed a commanding lead since 1993, winning 25 of 30 matches since that season.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN HAWKS
- Since Bucknell and Lehigh met in Bethlehem last month, the Mountain Hawks have won four of six matches. The only two losses during that stretch came opposite the Patriot League’s top teams in American (3-0) and Army (3-2). That brings their record to an even 11-11 overall and 5-5 in the Patriot League.
- Angelika Kopacz remains atop the Mountain Hawks’ stat sheet with 246 kills (2.96/set) this season. Also among the team leaders are Jessica Kurdirka in assists with 480 (5.78/set) and Taylor Poole with 68 blocks (0.82/set). Three players have also amassed better than 200 digs on the year with Rachel Charles leading the group with 355 (4.28/set).
- With the season winding down, Lehigh ranks among the top half of the Patriot League in five team categories. The best of those marks comes in service aces. The Mountain Hawks are first in league play with 2.03 per set. Helping Lehigh to its high aces total is Charles. The freshman is first in aces individually with 0.53 per set.
ABOUT THE LEOPARDS
- Lafayette continues to struggle in 2010. The Leopards are 4-20 overall and 0-10 in the Patriot League. Their last win came on Sept. 17 when they defeated La Salle in four sets. Since then, their closest call came opposite Navy last month, but the Midshipmen came away with the 3-2 victory.
- No Leopard has posted more kills than Kayly Elmer this fall. Elmer has 255 kills, giving her an average of 3.00 per set. Sarah Frohnapfel has had a hand in many of those points, leading the squad with 412 assists (7.23/set). Defensively, Lafayette relies on Mackenzie Larsen in digs (313, 3.68/set) and Alana Taylor in blocks (49, 0.63/set).
Bucknell will close out the regular season Nov. 12-13 when it hosts Holy Cross and Army at Davis Gym. Friday’s matchup with the Crusaders will be Senior Night with Kamp and Rodriguez being recognized before the game. The Bison will host its annual Rock the House match on Saturday when they take on the Black Knights.