Greyhounds to Face First Place Fairfield and Iona in Weekend Road Stretch

Oct. 16, 2009

This week: Fairfield and Iona

Fairfield Stags (9-10 overall, 7-1 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-14 overall, 4-4 MAAC)
When: Saturday, October 17
Where: Aumni Hall (Fairfield, Conn.)
Time: 2 p.m.

Iona Gaels (6-12 overall, 3-5 MAAC)
Loyola Greyhounds (9-14 overall, 4-4 MAAC)
When: Sunday, October 18
Where: Hynes Center (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Time: 2 p.m.

Starting off
The `Hounds hit the road again this weekend, continuing their quest for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in Buffalo, N.Y. First up is Fairfield, the conference's top team, Saturday. The Greyhounds will then take on Iona Sunday.

After holding down the second-place spot in the MAAC, the Greyhounds were handed a pair of home losses last weekend against Canisius and Niagara. Loyola fell to both opponents in five sets and have now lost three five-set matches in a row, with the first coming back two weeks ago against Manhattan. Despite the numbers in the loss column, the Greyhounds came out on top of all three teams in nearly all statistical categories.

Scouting the Stags
The heavily-favored Stags struggled with a tough non-conference schedule before going on a roll in conference play. The sole blemish on Fairfield's record remains the four-set upset loss to Rider suffered two weeks ago. Katie Mann leads a roster heavy on players from volleyball powerhouse regions on the West Coast such as San Diego, Orange County and Long Beach, Calif. The senior out of the San Diego-area has been named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week for three straight weeks. In 66 sets, she leads the Stags with 233 total kills on .354 hitting and is averaging 3.53 kills per set. Mann leads the MAAC with a .411 hitting percentage, just one point better than Karlee Woodward's .410 conference hitting clip. The 5-foot-11 middle hitter is second on the team with 38 total blocks, trailing Kendall Dircken by two. On the season, Fairfield is hitting .196 and holding opponents to a mark of .179. In the MAAC, the Stags are hitting .257 and holding opponents to .162.

Gaels Take Two
Iona started off MAAC play going 0-4, which included a 3-1 loss to the Greyhounds back on Septmber 27. After taking one from Rider, the Gaels went 1-2 against Fairfield, Saint Peter's and Marist over the last two weeks of conference play. Loyola rallied in the fourth set, coming from behind to take seven of the final nine points to overtake the Gaels. Iona hit just .149 against the Greyhounds and Sarah Weiner was the only Iona player to tally double-digit kills.

Leading the Way
This week's NCAA stats report had Camaioni's kills-per-set average ranked at No. 17 in the country, her highest ranking this season. Camaioni has recorded 344 kills in 79 sets for an average of 4.35 per set. Her 344 total far surpasses anyone else's mark in the MAAC and her average is second best behind Siena's Burgandy McCurty (308 total, 5.13). The junior outside hitter 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 and was also named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week on September 8.

1,000 Kill Club
Karlee Woodward's nine kills against Marist on September 20 put her over the 1,000 kill mark. The senior middle blocker from Scottsdale, Ariz., was honored for the accomplishment before Loyola took on Canisius at Reitz Arena last weekend with the game ball. Woodward currently has 1,074 career kills.

Born to Dig
Two weeks ago, junior libero Brittany Born broke Loyola's all-time dig record after putting up 18 against Manhattan. Born's 18 put her career total at 1,383, 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.

Studly Setter
Freshman setter Aubrey Kirven is third in the MAAC with 9.38 assists per game and an even higher 10.15 mark in conference matches. 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 will be 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.