Volleyball Plays in New England Challenge at Northeastern This Weekend
Sept. 13, 2012
Boston College volleyball takes on three local rivals this weekend in the New England Challenge hosted by Northeastern University at Solomon Court in Boston.
While at Northeastern's Cabot Physical Education Center the Eagles (6-4, 1-0 ACC) and head coach Chris Campbell will square off with the host Huskies (8-3, 0-0 CAA), out of the Colonial Athletic Association, on Friday at 7:00 p.m. before taking on Connecticut (6-5, 0-0 Big East), of the Big East, on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and Harvard (2-4, 0-0 Ivy), representing the Ivy League, later on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
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BC vs. This Weekend's Opponents
Boston College has faced Northeastern 24 times -- more than any other school in program history. The Eagles trail the all-time series with the Huskies 10-14. The two teams last met on Aug. 28, 2010 with NU earning a 3-1 four-set win.
The Eagles last defeated Northeastern on Sept. 12, 2009 taking a 3-2 five-set win over the Huskies. Then-freshman Krystle Higgins recorded 12 kills on .318 hitting and tallied four total blocks on two block solos and two block assists to help spark the Eagles to victory.
BC and Connecticut have faced each other 17 times with UConn holding a 13-4 lead in the all-time series. However, the Eagles enter this weekend's match with the Huskies having won three of the last four meetings. Boston College downed Connecticut 3-2 on Sept. 18, 2009, 3-2 on Oct. 2, 2004, and 3-0 on Nov. 11, 2004. UConn earned a 3-2 decision over the Eagles on Sept. 8, 2006.
The second-most contested rivalry in the history of the BC program comes against Harvard with the Eagles having won 16 of the 22 matchups between the two schools. Boston College has triumphed in their last five meetings with the Crimson dating back to 2003. Harvard last defeated BC 3-1 on Sept. 25, 2002.
In the last meeting between the two schools on Sept. 4, 2010 the Eagles took a straight-set 3-0 victory over the Crimson. Then-sophomore Val Mattaliano notched a tied for match-high 11 kills on .400 hitting while then-freshman Melissa McTighe posted four block assists and four kills in the winning effort.
Scouting the Eagles
Katty Workman, who earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 3-9, leads the Eagles and is fifth in the ACC with 3.76 kills per set. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native holds a higher kills per set average than any other freshman or sophomore in the conference and is tops in the league in total kills (143). A 6-0 outside hitter, Workman has recorded double-digit kill totals in eight of 10 matches on the season and has notched five double-doubles on the year.
Sophomore Courtney Castle, an all-tournament selection at the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational this past weekend, leads the team and sits ninth in the ACC with 3.39 digs per set. The Orange, Calif. resident ranks second on the team with 3.24 kills per set having amassed double-digit kill totals in each of eight matches on the season. A 6-0 outside hitter, Castle has registered six double-doubles on the season and has tallied double-digit dig totals in five of her last six matches.
At the setter position, junior Cagla Sen ranks eighth in the ACC and leads the Eagles with 6.90 assists per set. Out of Istanbul, Turkey, Sen has reached assist totals of 20 or greater in each of five matches this season and charted a season-high 41 assists in BC's ACC-opening win at Maryland on Sept. 7. Sophomore captain Kellie Barnum's 6.00 assists per set puts her second on the squad in that category.
Defensively, freshman libero Franny Hock ranks second on the team with 2.82 digs per set, and her performance this past weekend earned her all-tournament accolades at the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational. Hock, from Manhattan Beach, Calif., has recorded double-digit dig totals in each of six matches on the year.
On the blocking front, senior captain Krystle Higgins leads the Eagles with 32 total blocks and 0.91 blocks per set. Junior Melissa McTighe ranks second on the team with 29 total blocks and 0.76 blocks per set.
Higgins continues to climb up the rankings on BC's all-time blocking lists. The Inglewood, Calif. native currently ranks fourth in career total blocks (298), sixth in career block solos (56), and third in career block assists (242).
Higgins is three blocks away from taking sole possession of third place on the career total blocks list, 11 block solos away from taking outright possession of fifth place in career block solos at BC, and 43 block assists away from taking sole possession of second place in career block assists in school history (and needing just four more block assists after that to take BC's all-time career block assists title outright).
In a 3-1 win over George Washington on Sept. 8, the 6-1 middle hitter amassed 11 total blocks on one block solo and 10 block assists. Her 11 total blocks represented the third highest mark for total blocks in a single-match in school history (with stats for single matches dating back to 2002), and her 10 block assists ranked third for the most block assists in a single match at BC.
Meanwhile, Castle's six double-doubles on the season has raised her career total to 14 double-doubles. That mark ranks as the seventh most career double-doubles in BC history with records for the statistic going back to 2002. With four more double-doubles Castle will move into a three-way tie for fifth place on the all-time list.
Boston College improved its record to 6-4 overall and 1-0 in the ACC over the weekend with two wins and a loss at the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational on the campus of the University of Maryland.
In their first match of the tournament, the Eagles downed Maryland 3-1 in the ACC opener for both teams taking the first (25-23), second (25-14), and fourth (25-22) sets from the Terrapins. Castle played inspired volleyball in the match recording her fifth double-double of the season with 17 kills and 20 digs while Workman had her fourth double-double of the year behind 12 kills and 11 digs.
BC ran into a talented and determined then-No. 16 Tennessee squad in their second match of the invitational, falling 3-0 in straight sets to the Lady Volunteers. Kelsey Robinson, the SEC Player of the Year in 2011, posted 18 kills, 12 digs, and four block solos for the Volunteers.
The Eagles ended the weekend on a winning note defeating George Washington 3-1 in four sets earning victories in the second (25-23), third (25-17), and fourth (28-26) sets. BC once again received double-doubles from Castle and Workman who each had identical stat lines of 16 kills and 14 digs while Hock posted a match-high 19 digs.
A Look Ahead
Boston College heads back on the road after the New England Challenge as the team closes the season with 19 consecutive ACC matches. The Eagles first take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m. before traveling to Clemson for a match on Sept. 22 at 6:00 p.m.
BC holds a record of 2-14 all-time against the Yellow Jackets (7-2, 0-0 ACC). The Eagles last defeated the Ramblin' Wreck on Oct. 8, 2006 in a 3-1 victory. BC is 2-13 all-time against the Tigers (8-2, 0-0 ACC). The Eagles last defeated Clemson on Nov. 18, 2006 in a 3-1 four-set win.
The Huskies record stands at 8-3 entering the weekend coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Duke Classic in Durham, N.C. While at Duke, head coach Ken Nichols's side downed both East Carolina and Elon in straight sets, 3-0, before falling to the host Blue Devils in four sets, 3-1.
Junior Kelly Bacon leads the attack for the Huskies and is fourth in the CAA with a 3.26 kills per set average while sophomore Jillian Briner ranks second on the team with 2.42 kills per set. Sophomore libero Natalia Skiba, who has twice earned CAA Defensive Player of the Week honors this season, is tops for both NU and the CAA in digs per set (5.84 d/s) and in service aces per set (0.47 sa/s). Junior setter Ina Kamenova leads the squad with 6.32 assists per set while junior Nicole Kurz ranks fourth in the CAA with 1.15 blocks per set.
After the New England Challenge, Northeastern opens up the conference portion of its schedule with a home match versus Hofstra on Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Head coach Holly Strauss-O'Brien and Connecticut enter the weekend with an overall record of 6-5 having gone 2-2 this past weekend at the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Invitational hosted by Missouri State.
Sophomore Devon Maugle leads UConn and is fifth in the Big East with 3.84 kills per set, and senior Mattison Quayle ranks second on the team with 2.82 kills per set. Senior libero Kelsey Maving is tops for UConn and the Big East with 5.79 digs per set while freshman setter Marissa Prinzbach leads the squad and is eighth in the Big East with 9.53 assists per set. In blocking, freshman Erika Thomas leads Connecticut with 1.03 blocks per set.
The Huskies are next in action after the New England Challenge on Sept. 19 when they take on in-state rival Sacred Heart at 7:00 p.m. in Fairfield, Conn.
The Crimson and head coach Jennifer Weiss come into the New England Challenge with an overall record of 2-4 winning two out of three at the Harvard Invitational this past weekend.
Senior Taylor Docter leads Harvard and is fifth in the Ivy League with 2.95 kills per set followed closely by freshman Kathleen Wallace's 2.75 kills per set. Sophomore OH Kristen Casey is tops on the team with 3.20 digs per set while freshman setter Hannah Schmidt leads the squad with 5.35 assists per set. Junior Teresa Skelly paces the Crimson and is third in the Ivy League with 1.12 blocks per set.
Harvard next travels to the University of New Hampshire for a match on Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. after the New England Challenge is completed.