Bulldogs host Bobcats in NEC home opener

The Lady Bulldogs look to capitalize on their first chance at home court advantage (Bryant Athletics)

After being on the road for two weeks, the Bryant University women’s volleyball team is set to host its next four matches at the Chace Athletic Center, beginning with a Northeast Conference matchup against Quinnipiac on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The Bulldogs (5-11, 0-2 NEC) have had a rough couple of weeks, dropping five of their last seven matches, but look to change their fortune with their upcoming home stint.

The Bobcats (1-13, 0-1) have had a tough year thus far, posting their only win of the season against La Salle, 3-2, back on Sept. 9 and have lost their last seven contests. Both teams will be looking for their first conference win of the season in the outing.

Wednesday’s faceoff marks the first of two matchups with Quinnipiac this season.  Bryant won meetings last year, taking a 3-2 victory at home and winning the road matchup, 3-1.

In their last matchup, the Bulldogs were led by senior Jazmin Stoner (Durango, Colo.), who recorded 13 kills while junior Jadith Lorenzo (Lawrence, Mass.) added 36 assists in a 3-2 loss to Sacred Heart on Sept. 25. Led by Kimmee Roleder, Sacred Heart boasted four players with double-digit kills totals, while Alisa Mesa and Megan Pulone combined for 65 assists in the victory.

The Bobcats were on the road against Central Connecticut in their last outing as well, which resulted in a 3-1 loss. Tanner Celestin recorded 14 kills in the 2011 conference opener while Kayla Lawler provided 40 assists in the outing.

On the season, Stoner leads the Bulldogs with 178 kills while senior Maria Scocca (Melrose, Mass.), sophomore Alexandria Clyburn (Carterville, Ga.) and sophomore Kendall Gaffney (Colorado Springs, Colo.) all have over 100 kills on the 2011 campaign. Lorenzo and sophomore Leigh Fishback (Edmonds, Wash.) have combined for 591 assists on the year, paced by Lorenzo’s 422. Lorenzo also has a team high 22 aces this season. Defensively, junior Macy Mitravich (Waimanalo, Hawaii) leads Bryant with 236 digs.

Quinnipiac has struggled to score points in 2011, having been shut out in 10 of its 14 contests, and the Bobcats are led by senior Kelby Carey’s 83 kills. Taylor Payne is a close second with 77 and paces the side with a team-best 21 blocks.

On defense, sophomore Tracy Wright has a squad-high 152 digs, with Krista Bennett’s 123 right behind. Lawler has borne most of the set-up pressures and has 342 assists on the year, also leading the Bobcats with an impressive 26 aces.

Fans can watch Wednesday’s match live on www.bryantbulldogs.tv or follow along via live stats at www.bryantbulldogs.com.