Women's Volleyball Hosts MAAC Duo This Weekend

Oct. 8, 2009

This week: Canisius and Niagara

Canisius Golden Griffins (6-10 overall, 3-3 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-12 overall, 4-2 MAAC)
When: Saturday, October 10
Where: Reitz Arena
Time: 2 p.m.

Niagara Purple Eagles (5-9 overall, 1-3 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-12 overall, 4-2 MAAC)
When: Sunday, October 11
Where: Reitz Arena
Time: 12 p.m.

Starting off
Loyola hosts a pair of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matches this weekend when Canisius and Niagara visit the Evergreen Saturday and Sunday.

Manhattan handed Loyola just its second conference loss last weekend after a tight five-set thriller. With a 4-2 MAAC record, the Greyhounds are tied for second going into this weekend's matches. Fairfield (7-10, 5-1 MAAC) currently sits on atop the league standings, while Niagara (11-6, 4-2 MAAC) and Siena (6-8, 4-2 MAAC) are tied with the Greyhounds.

Scouting the Golden Griffins
While Golden Griffins aren't the most dangerous offensive team in the MAAC, their defensive strong point is the Greyhounds' weak spot. Canisius comes into Saturday's contest as the top blocking team in the MAAC averaging 2.14 blocks per set on the season and 2.68 blocks per set in conference games. Samantha Good and Michelle Godfrey have 59 and 50 blocks each, with 13 solos for Good and 15 solos for Godfrey. The Greyhounds have the lowest blocks-per-set average in the conference but average more kills than the Griffins.

Scouting the Purple Eagles
Niagara enters this weekend with the best overall record in the MAAC and a conference record identical to the Greyhounds'. With a roster full of sophomores and juniors, the Eagles' have experience under their belts that have helped them come together as a team this season. Freshman Kari Honomichl has been a nice addition to the offense putting down 207 kills so far this season, and averaging 3.71 per set. Honomichl was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for the third time Monday.

Born to Dig
Last weekend junior libero Brittany Born broke Loyola's all-time dig record after putting up 18 against Manhattan. Born's 274 digs this season gives her a career total of1,383, surpassing Maguire's mark of 1,381 by two. As a freshman in 2007, Born totaled 626 to grab Loyola's single-season dig record. Junior outside hitter Nina Camaioni holds the single-match record of 36.

Leading the Way
This week's NCAA stats report had Camaioni's kills-per-set average ranked at No. 18 in the country, her highest ranking this season. Camaioni has recorded 324 kills in 74 sets for an average of 4.38 per set. Her total far surpasses anyone else's mark in the MAAC and her average is second best behind Siena's Burgandy McCurty (233 total, 5.78). Camaioni padded her numbers back in the second week of the season racking up 70 kills in 14 games in the Battle of Baltimore. The performance led to her first MAAC Offensive Player of the Week award. Camaioni is the only Greyhound to go 3-for-3 in all-tournament teams, having been named to the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational, the Battle of Baltimore and the Duke Invitational all-tournament teams.

Studly Setter
Freshman setter Aubrey Kirven is third in the MAAC with 9.24 assists per game. The multitalented setter also leads the team (along with Camaioni) with 19 service aces, has 15 blocks, and has also chipped in 149 digs and 42 kills. With 146 assists in the Battle of Baltimore, Kirven was named to her first collegiate all-tournament team as well as named MAAC Rookie of the Week.

Carolina on my Mind
For Loyola's third and final non-conference tournament, the Greyhounds faced what wwas was arguably the toughest test of the season, as they took on No. 1-ranked Penn State at the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C. After a Friday night match against the two-time defending national champions, Loyola faced the Blue Devils and College of Charleston at the storied Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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.