PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Oct. 25, 2012) – The Scarlet Knights (16-8, 2-7 BIG EAST) travel to Storrs, Conn., to take on the Connecticut Huskies (14-10, 5-4) on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion. The squad then heads to Queens, N.Y., for a matchup with the St. John’s Red Storm (17-8, 4-5) in Carnesecca Arena on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. The contest with St. John’s will be streamed live on ESPN3.
- The Huskies are 5-4 in BIG EAST play and are coming off victories over USF (Oct. 19) and Pitt (Oct. 21).
- Offensively, Devin Maugle leads the squad with 3.29 kills per set, which ranks eighth in the conference. Immanuella Anagu holds the best hitting percentage in the BIG EAST since the start of conference play with a mark of .461. The offense runs through freshman Marissa Prinzbach, who tallies 9.79 assists per set, which ranks fifth in the league. She is the reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week. Kelsey Maving holds down the defensive end for the Huskies, collecting 5.24 digs per set to put her third in the conference.
- Connecticut is coached by Holly Strauss-O’Brien, who is in her eighth season.
Rutgers is 9-19 all-time against UConn in a series that dates back to 1977 - the first year of RU volleyball. Last season, the Scarlet Knights picked up a 3-0 victory against the Huskies in College Ave. Gym (Nov. 12). It was the first win for Rutgers over UConn since Sept. 21, 2001. The Huskies had previously won the last seven matchups.
St. John’s Notes
- The Red Storm hold a 4-5 conference record, but have lost five straight contests after starting league play 4-0.
- Aleksandra Wachowicz has paced the team, tallying 3.09 kills per set this season. Sabina Piegza has provided the majority of the helpers, accumulating 9.33 per set this season. Karin Palgutova leads the BIG EAST with 0.50 service aces per set and Gabriela Petkova averages 3.81 digs per set to lead St. John’s.
- As a team, St. John’s has compiled a .226 hitting percentage this season, good for fourth in the conference. The squad also plays tough defense with a .159 opponent hitting percentage mark, second best in the league. The Red Storm lead the BIG EAST with 1.53 service aces per set.
- Joanne Persico is in her 19th season as the head coach.
Rutgers holds a 8-10 record against St. John’s in a matchup that dates back to 1994. The Scarlet Knights beat the Red Storm in five sets to close out last season (Nov. 13).
Last Time Out
Despite a late surge, the Rutgers volleyball team fell to Seton Hall in five sets on Oct. 19 in South Orange, N.J. The Scarlet Knights were downed by set scores of 18-25, 17-25, 25-21, 26-24 and 7-15. Rutgers moved to 19-16 all-time against Seton Hall and 5-3 in five-set matches.
With the win over Syracuse (Oct. 12), Rutgers secured its most wins in a season since the team went 16-10 in 2004. It was guaranteed the squad would finish with a winning record, also the first time since 2004. The Scarlet Knights earned the victory by set scores of 25-13, 25-22, 25-27 and 25-18. It marked the second conference win of the season for Rutgers and the team compiled a .288 hitting percentage, its best BIG EAST mark of the 2012 campaign. This was Rutgers’ first win over Syracuse since Oct. 10, 2003.
Setting It Up
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) moved into second place in Rutgers history in assists against Seton Hall (Oct. 19). She has 3,967 for her career. In the same match, Zielinski also moved into 10th on the single season list with 1,054 this season. She is 35 helpers out of eighth. Zielinski accumulated 1,151 last season, sixth all-time at Rutgers. The senior has also totaled 1,076 digs in her career, fourth all-time at Rutgers.
Junior libero Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) surpassed the 1,000 career digs mark in the loss at Villanova (Sept. 28). She currently sits at 1,082 career digs. The transfer, who is in her first season with the Scarlet Knights, has totaled 356 digs and moved into seventh in the win over Syracuse (Oct. 12) and is just 13 assists out of moving into sole possession of fifth.
Senior Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.) recorded 11 kills in the match against Seton Hall (Oct. 19) to give her 851 career kills, closing in on 10th place all-time at Rutgers, held by Courtney Mechling (1995-98), who totaled 905.
Scarlet Knights in the NCAA
Senior setter Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) ranked 27th in the NCAA through Oct. 21 with 11.21 assists per set. Freshman Sarah Schmid (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) ranked 43rd with a .370 hitting percentage.
Closing in on Milestones
Junior Tracy Wright (Fair Lawn, N.J.) has 356 digs this season, 13 away from sole possession of fifth place on the Rutgers single-season list. Senior Stephanie Zielinski (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is just 35 assists away from taking over eighth place on Rutgers’ single-season list and 100 away from moving into fifth. She is also two digs away from 300 this season. Senior Alex Jones (Chesapeake, Va.) is 54 kills out of 10th place on Rutgers career list. Senior Kylie Orr (Kettering, Ohio) is 11 kills away from 500 for her career and 43 way from 300 for the season. Junior Brittany Bozzini (Saratoga, Calif.) is two kills shy of 300 for her career.
The Scarlet Knights return home for a matchup with DePaul on Nov. 3 (2 p.m.) and Senior Day against Notre Dame on Nov. 4 (2 p.m.).
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