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Volleyball Faces Howard Midweek Before Facing Top-Ranked Penn State at Duke Invitational

Sept. 8, 2009

Baltimore -

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This week: Howard, Duke Invitational

 

Howard Bison (0-7 overall, 0-0 MEAC)

Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (3-5 overall, 0-0 MAAC)

When: Wednesday, September 9

Where: Burr Gymnasium (Washington D.C.)

Time: 7 p.m.

Penn State Nittany Lions (6-0 overall, 0-0 Big 10)

Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (3-5 overall, 0-0 MAAC)

When: Friday, September 11

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (Durham, N.C.)

Time: 5 p.m.

Duke Blue Devils (5-1 overall, 0-0 ACC)

Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (3-5 overall, 0-0 MAAC)

When: Saturday, September 12

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (Durham, N.C.)

Time: 10 a.m.

College of Charleston Cougars (1-5 overall, 0-0 Southern Conference)

Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds (3-5 overall, 0-0 MAAC)

When: Saturday, September 12

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium (Durham, N.C.)

Time: 5 p.m.

 

Starting Off

Beltway Battle

Coming off a 3-1 weekend, in which the Greyhounds finished second in the Battle of Baltimore, Loyola will take on another local foe when they travel down the Beltway for Howard's home opener. Loyola caught a glimpse of the Bison in the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational two weeks ago but the two teams did not face each other.

Carolina on my Mind

This weekend the Greyhounds head to the south for the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C. Loyola will face Duke and College of Charleston after an opening match against the current No. 1-ranked Penn State. The Greyhounds will play at Cameron Indoor Stadium, one of the most storied arenas in college basketball. This event will be the season's toughest test.

No. 1 Nittany Lions

Penn State may not be the consensus No. 1 this week in the AVCA Coaches Poll (52 of 60 first place votes) but there is no reason to think otherwise. The reigning national champs twice over are currently riding a 60-game winning streak with the last loss coming back in September of 2007. Four All-Americans return to Happy Valley, and this year's incoming class includes a Junior College All-American and PrepVolleyball.com's 2008 National Player of the Year. Penn State boasts a squad with considerable height. The Lions' front line includes a pair of 6-foot-5 opposite hitters and 6-foot-3 middle blockers.

Scouting Duke

The Blue Devils are poised to make a repeat run at the ACC title. The attack is spread throughout eight hitters, with Sophia Dunworth seeing the bulk of the sets (60 kills, 3.16 per set, .445 hitting clip). A powerful and efficient hitting team, Duke is averaging 13.10 kills per set and hitting .325. The Blue Devils aren't exactly lacking in defense. The team has 55 total blocks and is holding opponents to just 10.57 kills per game. The Greyhounds are currently 1-0 against ACC teams after a 3-1 win over Maryland in the Battle of Baltimore.

Scouting Charleston

The Cougars started the season out with a 3-2 win last weekend over Winthrop but have done little else since. However, they have managed to take all but one opponent into at least four games.

Leading the Way

Junior outside hitter Nina Camaioni leads the Greyhounds with 123 kills (4.24 per set. Camaioni tallied a whopping 70 kills in 14 games in last weekend's Battle of Baltimore, including a career-high 23 against Towson. The junior from Williamstown, N.J., also has 80 digs and a team-leading eight service aces.

Studly Setter

Freshman setter Aubrey Kirven, whom head coach Scott Pennewill has referred to as a "stud", had a breakout Greyhound debut in Pittsburgh at the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational. Kirven had 117 assists (7.80 per set), including a career-high 46 against Radford, 33 digs, four blocks and nine kills in her first four collegiate matches. With 146 more assists last weekend in the Battle of Baltimore, Kirven was named to her first collegiate all-tournament team.

Born to Dig

Junior libero Brittany Born comes into the 2009 season with 1,109 career digs. With 112 already in `09, Born is on pace to surpass Megan Maguire's career mark of 1,381 this season. Born's 626 digs as a freshman in 2007, is currently first all-time. Junior outside hitter Nina Camaioni holds the single match record of 36.

The Returning Half

Loyola returned six letterwinners this season, three of them being full-time starters. All together, the Greyhounds return 553 sets played, 664 kills, 847 assists, 1,446 digs and 191 blocks.