PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Sept. 13, 2012) – The Scarlet Knights travel to Philadelphia, Pa., for the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Penn Invitational, hosted by Penn. Rutgers will face Radford on Sept. 14 (4 p.m.), followed by George Mason (1 p.m.) and Penn on Sept. 15 (5 p.m.). The team has won nine contests in a row and has an 11-1 record, the best start in program history.
Rutgers improved to 4-0 in five set matches with the win over Lehigh on Sept. 11. Despite being down two sets to one, Rutgers surged late to pick up the victory, The Scarlet Knights improved to 11-3 all-time against the Mountain Hawks with set scores of 18-25, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24 and 15-11. Rutgers has not lost since Aug. 25 at Miami.
In the win at Lehigh, freshman Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) tied her career high of 13 digs, while classmate Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) set a new career-best with five blocks.
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is third in the BIG EAST with 11.20 assists per set. Schmid is first in the league with a .463 hitting percentage. Nationally, Schmid was ranked 10th in the NCAA through Sept. 9 with a .459 hitting percentage. Zielinski was in 25th place with 11.33 assists per set.
The Radford Highlanders, led by fifth-year head coach Marci Jenkins, are 6-6 so far this season. Radford is coming off a 2-2 performance at the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge, picking up wins over Wright State and Saint Peter’s, while dropping matches to West Virginia and James Madison. The Big South Program is led by Rachel Wiechecki (119 kills) offensively and defensively (123 digs). The Scarlet Knights are 2-0 all-time against the Highlanders, with the last meeting coming on Sept. 18, 2009, when Rutgers swept Radford.
George Mason has started the season with a 2-8 record, picking up wins over UMBC (Aug. 28) and West Virginia (Sept. 2). Most recently, the Colonial Athletic Association squad dropped three matches at the High Point University Classic to High Point (Sept. 7), Virginia Tech (Sept. 8) and Loyola (Sept. 8). Under the instruction of 28th-year head coach Pat Kendrick, the Patriots are led offensively by Lana Zonjic (98 kills) and defensively by Bernetta Moore (129 digs). Rutgers is 3-6 all-time against George Mason, with the most recent meeting coming on Sept. 10, 2010 when the Scarlet Knights won in five sets.
With 15th-year head coach Kerry Carr at the helm, the host Penn Quakers are 3-3 2012. The Ivy League program is coming off of a 1-2 performance at the Molten Classic Presented by Hilton Garden Inn, picking up a win over UC-Riverside (Sept. 8). The team also defeated La Salle and BIG EAST competitor Villanova on Sept. 1. Emma White has notched 63 kills for the Quakers, while Dani Shepherd has recorded 104 digs. The Scarlet Knights hold a 12-8 all-time record against Penn. The last time the squads met was on Sept. 19, 2000, with Rutgers earning the win in three sets.
The Scarlet Knights will begin BIG EAST play at the College Ave. Gym against South Florida on Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. Rutgers holds a 5-5 record all-time against the Bulls.
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