PISCATAWAY, N.J. (September 5, 2013) – The Rutgers University volleyball team will return to nonconference action tomorrow morning, as the Scarlet Knights travel to Syracuse, N.Y. to participate in the Candlewood Suites Invitational. RU will face both Oakland and former BIG EAST rival Syracuse tomorrow at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively. The team will conclude tournament play on Saturday, Sept. 7, against Colorado at 8:30 a.m. and Stony Brook at 2:30 p.m.
The Scarlet Knights’ matches against Oakland and Colorado mark the first time in program history that the squad will meet either team. RU has faced Stony Brook two other times, with the last meeting resulting in a four-set victory during the 2004 season.
Rutgers has faced the Orange 24 times in program history. Syracuse holds a 16-8 lead in these matchups Last year in BIG EAST conference play, RU defeated ‘Cuse, 3-1, at the College Ave. Gym.
Rutgers opened the 2013 season last weekend at the Indiana Invitational and returned “To the Banks” with a 2-1 record. The Scarlet Knights defeated Kent State and Robert Morris and fell to future Big Ten opponent Indiana.
Freshman outside hitter Micaela Anderson (La Cañada, Calif.) was named to the All-Tournament Team, along with sophomore defensive specialist Ali Schroeter (Bakersfield, Calif.),
Anderson finished the weekend with 38 total kills; averaging 3.80 kills per set by way of a .244 hitting percentage. On Saturday, the outside led all RU offensive players with 28 total kills against both Indiana and Robert Morris. 22 of her kills came against Robert Morris alone to guide RU to a 3-1 win over the Colonials. Anderson finished the contest with a torrid .391 hitting percentage and added 10 digs for the first double-double of her young career.
Schroeter paced a strong defensive effort by Rutgers over the weekend, leading the squad with 44 digs to average 4.40 per set. The second-year player managed double-digit digs in each match and came away with a 20-dig performance against Robert Morris.
Oakland enters the Candlewood Suites Invitational at 1-2 after defeating Central Michigan and falling to Villanova and Oregon State at the Golden Grizzlies Invitational last weekend. The Grizzlies are led by sophomore outside Cassie Pelloni, who recorded 41 kills over the weekend en route to a .278 hitting percentage. Taylor Humm leads the team with 46 digs and has also recorded three service aces, while Ciara Schultz and Alissa Valentine lead Oakland in assists with 56 and 50, respectively.
The host Orange enter the tournament winless at 0-2 after suffering defeats to Louisville and Penn State last weekend at the Penn State Invitational. Syracuse fell to the Cardinals by scores of 20-25, 19-25, 17-25 and were swept by the Nittany Lions (16-25, 15-25, 17-25). Both teams however are ranked in the top-25, as Louisville sits at 17 and Penn State entered this week as the No. 1 team in the nation.
Sophomore outside Silvi Uattara led the Orange over the weekend with a team-high 14 kills, while classmate Gosia Wlaszczuk came in second with 10 kills and added 12 digs.
Colorado enters the Candlewood Suites Invitational after splitting a pair of contests against St. Mary’s (Calif.) at the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic. The Buffaloes dropped their season opener last Friday in four sets, before rebounding the following day and defeating the Gaels in a best-of-four match.
The Buffaloes are led by Alexis Austin, who averaged 3.00 kills per set and recorded seven digs and five blocks assists on the weekend.
Scouting Stony Brook
Stony Brook enters this weekend’s tournament after a season-opening 2-1 road-trip at the Crusader Classic hosted by Holy Cross. The Sea Wolves defeated tournament-host Holy Cross (3-0), as well as Sacred Heart (3-1), before falling to Manhattan in straight sets. With the win over Holy Cross in the opening match of the second day, Stony Brook began the season at 2-0 for the first time since 2006.
Stony Brook is led by senior outside Kaitlin Costello who amassed a team-high 37 kills over the weekend and added 17 digs. Libero Laura Hathaway leads the team defensively with 39 digs, averaging 3.90/set while junior Hanna Dolan serves as the team’s primary setter having dished out 93 assists.
All matches will be held at the Women’s Building (capacity 3,000) and are free of charge. For complete tournament coverage, visit Syracuse’s Tournament Central page.
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