Nov. 6, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – American and Lehigh have clinched spots in the 2014 Patriot League Women’s Tournament heading into the penultimate weekend of the regular season. Army, Colgate, Holy Cross and Navy remain in contention for the final two spots in the four-team field with eight games on tap Friday and Saturday.
THE TOP FIVE @PATRIOTLEAGUE NOTES
American’s 3-1 win over Navy on Wednesday clinched spots in the Patriot League Tournament for Lehigh and the Eagles.
Army moved to within a game of third place Colgate and half game of Navy with a 3-1 win over the Raiders on Friday.
Lehigh has won six in a row, five straight in League play, following wins over Loyola Maryland and Navy last week.
Lafayette snapped a losing streak with a 3-0 win over Loyola Saturday to sweep the season series with the Greyhounds.
Colgate bounced back from Friday’s 3-1 loss to Army to defeat Holy Cross 3-2 the following day.
Patriot League Notebook
American, Lehigh First Two Teams to Secure Spots in Postseason
American’s 3-1 win over Navy on Wednesday guaranteed spots in the Patriot League Tournament for the Eagles (12-0) and Lehigh (11-2). The Mountain Hawks are riding a six-game winning streak, including five in a row in League play, following wins over Navy and Loyola Maryland last week. Army tightened the race for the final two spots in the League tournament with a 3-1 win at Colgate on Friday. The Raiders rebounded to defeat Holy Cross on Saturday to cling to the third spot in the standings. Navy is a half game behind Colgate and a game ahead of the Black Knights after defeating Bucknell 3-2 on Friday before falling to the league leaders in the Mids most recent two matches. Lafayette snapped a losing streak with a 3-0 win over Loyola on Saturday to sweep the season series from the Greyhounds.
Colgate Travels to Navy for Important League Match
Colgate (8-4) currently sits in third place in the Patriot League standings and faces an important week with road matches against Lehigh and their nearest pursuer Navy (8-5) this weekend. Army also takes to the road to face Loyola and unbeaten American with Holy Cross also facing the Greyhounds and Eagles in the same southern swing. Bucknell travels to Lafayette on Friday before returning to Lewisburg, Pa. to take on Lehigh on Saturday.
American Continues an Amazing Patriot League Run
The American Women’s Volleyball team finished the 2013 season with a 34-3 record and a run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Since losing to Army on October 5, 2013 the Eagles American have a 25-match winning streak against league opponents (includes the two matches played during the 2013 league tournament) and have posted a 75-8 record in sets over this span. Unbeaten in League play this season, American will finish their schedule with home matches against Holy Cross and Army this weekend and on the road at Colgate and Lehigh to close out the regular season.
Watch FREE on the Patriot League Network
Once again, the Patriot League will partner with Campus Insiders on the Patriot League Network, a streaming platform that will enable fans to watch League regular season and championship events for free. Currently more than 80 women’s volleyball matches are scheduled to stream on the Network, including the Patriot League Tournament. Six matches are on PLN this week, with three each on Friday evening and Saturday.
Patriot League Women’s Volleyball Weekly Awards
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MONIKA SMIDOVA, AMERICAN Sr., S, Plzen, Czech Republic
Smidova registered her second career triple-double with a career-high 11 kills, along with 41 assists and 15 digs in American’s 3-1 win at Bucknell on Saturday. The senior setter also finished a kill shy of a triple-double in a 3-0 win against Lafayette. For the week, Smidova averaged 9.42 assists, 3.25 digs, 2.17 kills and had a .523 attack percentage.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
RACHEL GEARON, ARMY Fr., MB, Leawood, Kan.
Gearon had nine kills and no errors in Army’s 3-1 win at Colgate on Friday. The freshman middle blocker also contributed one ace, two digs and a match-high five blocks and finished the week with a .529 hitting percentage.
EMILY POPP, HOLY CROSS So., L, Clarkston, Mich.
Popp averaged 6.50 digs per set, including a 36-dig performance in the Crusaders five-set loss to Colgate.
STEPHANIE SLATER, LEHIGH Jr., RS, McDonald, Pa.
Slater averaged 4.17 kills per set and had a .373 hitting percentage in the Mountain Hawks 2-0 week.
ALLI GRAF, NAVY So., L, Annapolis, Md.
Graf set a career high with 32 digs in five-set win over Bucknell and averaged 6.78 dps and 1.11 service aces for the week.