October 10, 2008
BULLDOGS GET SET FOR WEST COAST COMPETITION, TO PLAY NORTH DAKOTA SATURDAY BEFORE SUNDAY BOUTS WITH SOUTH DAKOTA AND HOST SEATTLE U.
JUNIOR JULIE GEONOTTI HAS
SEATTLE -- With its stretch of Division I success backing the Bulldogs, the Bryant University volleyball team gets ready to truly test itself against others of its kind. This Saturday, Oct. 11, and Sunday, Oct. 12, the Bulldogs will take on some of the toughest competition among their piers in Division I transition at this weekend's Dig for the Cure Classic.
The Bulldogs will see what the West Coast has to offer when they face off against the University of North Dakota, University of South Dakota and host Seattle University. And if their records are any testament -- 18-2, 15-1 and 3-13, respectively -- the competition should be fierce.
The Bulldogs' first fight will come Saturday morning, when they take on North Dakota (18-2) in a 10 a.m. match. The Fighting Sioux have seen just a pair of losses despite playing a partial-DII schedule, and are led by Britta Hanson's 230 kills (3.33 kpg). Hanson also leads the team in blocks with 67 (13 solo, 54 block assists).
The Sioux are 12-0 in three-set matches, 6-1 in four games but winless (0-1) in five-set matches. UND has key wins over Division I teams such as Lehigh (3-0) and Towson (3-0), as well as wins over some more familiar opponents such as Merrimack University (3-0). North Dakota has dropped just 12 games in their 69 played.
But the Bulldogs may face even stiffer competition in their Sunday morning opener against the University of South Dakota (10 a.m.). The Coyotes are 15-1, also with a mostly DII slate, with their only loss coming at the hands of the No. 10 team in Division II, Nebraska-Kearney (0-3 loss). But South Dakota has registered Division I wins over Wofford (3-2) and Providence College (3-0), as well as Northeast Conference's Fairleigh Dickinson University (3-0), a team Bryant fell to in five sets just last week.
USD is led by Kristin Kritenbrink (175 kills, 3.12 kpg) as well as 51 total blocks cfrom Kathleen Hruska (4 solo, 47 block assists) and have fallen in just 11 of 56 sets.
Despite a 3-13 record, Bryant will also see a fierce Seattle University side on Sunday afternoon (1:30 p.m.) in its final game of the Dig for the Cure Classic. The Redhawks, like the Bulldogs, have played a full Division I schedule, taking on such stringent competition as No. 10 Washington and No. 17 San Diego (both 0-3 losses). But Seattle has also found wins against its tough lineup, including a season-opening 3-0 victory over Boise State, a 3-2 thriller over Idaho and a 3-2 win over the University of Pennsylvania on Sept. 27.
The Redhawks are led by Cristin Richards' 138 kills, while 41 blocks from Emily Powell (1 solo, 40 assists) pace SU at the net.
|FRESHMAN MARIA SCOCCA|
LEADS BRYANT IN BLOCKS
(92) AND IS SECOND ON THE
TEAM IN KILLS (218).
But Bryant has proven its readiness for its weekend foes. With a 13-9 record against all Division I schools, the Bulldogs have been led by a trio of freshmen on the court. Hilary Andrews (Tipp City, Ohio), Maria Scocca (Melrose, Mass.) and Jazmin Stoner (Durango, Colo.) all have over 200 kills for the Bulldogs on the year, with Andrews leading the way (221). Scocca's 218 and Stoner's 203 are No. 2 and No. 3 on the team, with Scocca pacing Bryant with a .343 attack percentage. Scocca also paces the Bulldogs at the net with 92 total blocks, 20 of the solo (72 block assists).
But the upperclassmen aren't slacking off, either. Senior co-captain Delia Glover (Marston Mills, Mass.) has a team-high 23 service aces (Only South Dakota's Amber Kobus has more in this weekend's competition with 25.) to compliment 346 digs in 2008 (leads tournament competition). Sophomore setter Miranda Kolb (Holt, Mich.)'s 734 assists are also a high amongst tournament teams, as are Scocca's 92 blocks.
The Bulldogs have nine three-set wins with three four-game victories and one in matches to run the full five sets.
To follow along with all of this weekend's volleyball action, click here and then on the Live Stats link near the bottom of the page.
And be sure to check back to www.bryantbulldogs.com for stories, stats, info and updates on all three Bulldog volleyball matches this weekend, as well as much, much more about all of Bryant's 22 varsity sports.