NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Sept. 4, 2012) – Rutgers volleyball recorded its third sweep of the season handing Lafayette (5-1) its first loss of the 2012 campaign. The Scarlet Knights came out victorious with set wins of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-12. The team improved to 4-0 in College Ave Gym this season and 2-1 all-time against the Leopards. The win marks the best start to a season for the Scarlet Knights (7-1) since 1996 when the squad started 8-0.
“I think we started out a little sluggish,” said head coach CJ Werneke. “I think we rebounded well. I was really pleased with our execution in game three when we finally put it together.”
Rutgers did not trail in the entire match past the Leopards’ fifth point. The Scarlet Knights tallied their third-best match hitting percentage of the season at .306 while holding Lafayette to a .128 mark. In the opening stanza, the Leopards jumped out to an early 3-1 lead. Rutgers rebounded, and despite a late surge by Lafayette to make it 22-21, the Scarlet Knights closed out the set. Senior Kylie Orr (Kettering, Ohio) notched six of her match-high 13 kills in the first game.
The second set was more of the same, with the Leopards’ latest lead of the game coming at 5-4. Rutgers rallied to win the set by four points. RU was down 3-0 in the third before going on a 6-0 run early, and closing the set on a 7-0 run. The 25-12 win in the third was the largest margin of victory in a single set for the Scarlet Knights this season.
Orr has totaled double-digit kills in five straight contests. Senior Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) amassed 33 assists and a match-best 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the campaign. Sophomore Rachel Andreassian (Fredericksburg, Texas) and freshman Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) led the squad’s hitting percentage efforts with marks of 1.000 and .471, respectively. Andreassian totaled six kills on as many attempts, while Schmid recorded eight kills on 17 attempts. Neither player made an attack error in the contest. Schmid surpassed the 100 kill mark and now sits at 103 for her career.
The Scarlet Knights next travel to Norfolk, Va., for the Spartan Classic, hosted by Norfolk State. Rutgers will start the tournament with UNC-Wilmington on Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. The squad will play Stetson (10 a.m.) and Norfolk State (6 p.m.) on Sept. 8.
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