NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Rutgers women’s volleyball team has competed in eight matches this spring, compiling a mark of 5-2-1. All matches were in a best-of-three format.
The Scarlet Knights, who finished last season with a 17-11 overall record, 6-7 in the BIG EAST, started the spring at the Fordham Tournament on March 29. The squad went 2-1, defeating Iona, 30-16 and 30-23 and Fordham, 28-30, 30-20, 15-10, while falling to Seton Hall in its first match of the spring, 30-28, 22-30, 16-18.
The Scarlet Knights, most recently, competed at the University of Pennsylvania Tournament on April 5. There, RU began the tournament by tying Villanova, 22-25 and 25-23. Rutgers then swept two consecutive matches, over Bucknell (25-21, 25-18) and Lehigh (25-17, 25-21). Those two victories landed Rutgers in the semifinals against Temple, a team Rutgers defeated in five highly competitive games last fall. The semifinal match-up would be tight, as well. Rutgers gained the victory again, in three games, 21-25, 25-22 and 15-6.
In the championship game, against Villanova, the Wildcats won a one-game final, 30-28.
The UPenn Tournament was filled with many tremendous individual performances for Rutgers. The team’s hitting percentage was .322, with sophomore Dawn Christjaener (Huntionton Beach, CA) leading with a .341 percentage. Freshman Ashleigh Young (Albany, OR) hit .320, while sophomore Addie Thiry (Louisville, KY) hit .305.
Junior Shayla Bush (Spokane, WA), last season’s team MVP, led the team with 34 kills on the day, while sophomore Stephanie Travioli (Arlington, TX) added 28 kills. Thiry and Young each tallied eight blocks, while Christjaener accrued six service aces.
The Scarlet Knights will face a tough schedule in 2003, but will play 11 home matches, including the Clarion Suites Classic, hosted by Rutgers, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12 and 13. The tournament will also include St. Peter’s, George Washington and Delaware. Last season, the Scarlet Knights played at home just seven times.