*The complete report in PDF format is located at the bottom of this release.
CAA QUICK HITS:
- Delaware clinched its first regular-season title in three years last weekend to earn the top seed and right to host the 2010 CAA Volleyball Championship. VCU remains second in the standings ahead of four teams currently tied for third.
- Georgia State senior Ashley Jones becomes the second Panther to be named Offensive Player of the Week this season, while Delaware senior Greta Gibboney has earned the conference's defensive award for the fourth time in 2010. This is George Mason freshman Lana Zonjic's second straight and third overall Rookie of the Week nod of the year.
- Six squads have maintained a .500 or better conference mark for the fourth consecutive week, while five teams tout a winning overall record in 2010.
- Delaware and James Madison have each notched 11 wins at home this season. At 11-0, the Hens are the lone team in the league with a perfect record on their home court. Their current 13-match home winning streak is tied for 13th longest in the nation and will be put to the test this weekend against UNC Wilmington and GSU.
- As of matches through Nov. 7, a number of CAA squads and individual players remain ranked among the nation's top 50 in various statistical categories.
- The league's nonconference regular season record stands at 77-73 (.513). The only CAA squad with nonconference foes left on its slate this season is VCU, which hosts Hampton on Nov. 16 and Albany on Nov. 26.
Ashley Jones - Georgia State
Jones served up an all-around attack to lead Georgia State to decisive victories over James Madison and George Mason and into a tie for the third spot in the CAA standings last week. The senior outside hitter collected 31 kills and averaged 3.44 kills per set offensively while recording 38 digs on the defensive front in the two matches. Her 25 digs in the Panthers' 3-1 win over the Patriots were her second-highest total of the season. With her pair of double-double last week, Jones now has 13 on the year.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Greta Gibboney - Delaware
Gibboney garners her fourth weekly award of the season after posting a career-best digs display last week that helped Delaware earn the CAA regular season title for the first time in three years. The senior libero finished with 56 digs and averaged 9.33 digs per set as the Hens broke out the brooms for sweeps of VCU and William & Mary heading into the final week of CAA play. Gibboney's 30 digs against the Tribe marked a new three-set match high for the Hens this season and a career best for the Huntingdon, Pa., native.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Lana Zonjic - George Mason
Zagreb, Croatia/Il Gimnazija Zagreb, Fr., Outside Hitter
Zonjic secured her second Rookie of the Week honor in as many weeks with a solid all-around performance for the Patriots last week. The freshman outside hitter tallied 22 kills and 18 digs while also chipping in three blocks and three service aces last week. She now has five double-doubles on the season following her 14-kill, 13-dig showing in Mason's loss to Georgia State.
RULERS OF THE ROOST: Delaware captured the regular-season title and the right to host the 2010 CAA Volleyball Championship with wins over VCU and William & Mary last week. The Blue Hens improved to 11-1 in CAA play and have a three-game lead with two games to play. At 9-4, VCU sits second in the CAA and one-half game ahead of four teams currently tied for third place in the standings that have played one less conference contest. The Rams' only remaining match is at home against W&M, who they swept on Oct. 2. JMU and Mason still find themselves third in the standings at 8-4 after both split a pair of matchups last week, but they are now joined by Northeastern and GSU in a tight four-way race. The Huskies had no problem holding serve at home in a sweep of Hofstra on Saturday, while the Panthers gained ground in the postseason race by defeating the Dukes and Patriots at home last week.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: With one week remaining in the regular season, five teams find themselves locked in a tight battle for the three remaining spots in the CAA tournament now that Delaware has earned the top spot. NU will have the ball in its court this weekend when it hosts JMU and Mason. The Huskies dropped decisions to both squads on the road earlier this season, falling in four sets to the Patriots on Oct. 1 before being edged, 16-14, by the Dukes in the final frame of a five-set thriller two days later. JMU and Mason also host Hofstra this weekend, with each team having swept the Pride in its first regular season matchup. GSU will look to ride the wave of four straight wins when it heads to Towson and Delaware. The Panthers picked up a 3-1 win over the Tigers on Oct. 3 and remain the only CAA squad to humble the Hens this season after prevailing in a five-set thriller in Atlanta to open October. VCU will vie for its 10th conference win of the season when it welcomes W&M to Richmond on Friday.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: As of matches through Nov. 7, Delaware's Greta Gibboney ranked 8th in the nation in digs per set with a 5.71 average, while her Hens (17.05) came in at 32nd nationally. Also on the defensive front, Mason's Kelsey Bohman improved to 18th in Division I with 1.33 blocks per set. Joining her in the top 50 are Delaware's Paige Erickson (1.26) at 30th and VCU's Kelsie Clegg (1.20) at 47th. Delaware (2.39) slid in the top 50 in the team blocks-per-set category as well. Towson's Shelynne Hoyt (0.44) is ranked 20th with 0.43 service aces per set, while Mason's Noelle Fanella (0.42) at 22nd, JMU's Danielle Erb (0.42) at 25th and Hofstra's Jenna Connell (0.39) at 44th are also among the top 50 nationally. Hoyt's Tigers (1.58) ranked 31st in the country in aces per set. With an 18-5 overall record (.815), Delaware owns the 22nd-best winning percentage in the nation. JMU (.741) registered the 46th-best winning percentage in Division I.
A SURVEY OF THE STATS: Delaware currently leads the league in three team statistical categories. The Hens are firing on all cylinders on both the offensive and defensive fronts, as they have recorded a CAA-best .215 hitting percentage while limiting opponents to a league-low .157 hitting this season. NU and Mason are ranked in the league's top three in both categories as well. Delaware is also tops in digs with 17.05 digs per set and averages one full dig more per set than GSU, which ranks second in the conference with 16.04 digs per set. The Huskies have handed out a conference-best 12.22 assists per set so far this season and their 13.22 kills-per-set average also paces the league. JMU and Delaware are ranked second and third, respectively, in both categories. Towson continues to hold serve in the services aces category, as the Tigers have launched a league-best 1.58 aces per set in 2010.
DELAWARE (22-5 overall, 11-1 in CAA): Delaware clinched the CAA regular season title outright with victories over VCU and William & Mary last week. Senior libero Greta Gibboney tallied 56 digs and classmate Paige Erickson collected 22 kills on .475 hitting to lead the Hens in the two matches. Delaware will put its 13-match home winning streak, which is currently tied for 13th longest in the nation, on the line this weekend when it welcomes UNC Wilmington and Georgia State to Newark beginning on Friday.
GEORGE MASON (13-11 overall, 8-4 in CAA): Mason split its pair of matchups last week. Senior opposite hitter Holly Goode registered 12 kills on .407 hitting as the Patriots swept aside UNCW on Friday before they were tripped up in four sets by GSU the following day. Rookie outside hitter Lana Zonjic recorded 14 kills and 13 digs against the Panthers, with Goode also notched a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs in the loss. Mason wraps up the regular season with a weekend homestand against Hofstra and Northeastern.
GEORGIA STATE (14-12 overall, 8-4 in CAA): The Panthers picked off James Madison and Mason last week to send them into a four-way tie for third place in the CAA standings. Redshirt senior libero Audrey Cantrell posted a season-high 30 digs as GSU prevailed in five sets over the Dukes, while classmate Ashley Jones tallied her 13th double-double of the season with 25 digs and 13 kills in the team's 3-1 triumph over the Patriots. The Panthers look to lock up a spot in the conference tournament when they travel to Towson and league-leading Delaware this weekend.
HOFSTRA (10-22 overall, 2-10 in CAA): Hofstra suffered its third-straight loss on Saturday when it was blanked, 3-0, on the road to nearby NU. Outside hitter Marina Markovic paced the Pride offensively with eight kills on the evening, while rookie setter Caity DeColster handed out 19 assists in the loss. Hofstra will look to play spoiler in the CAA postseason race when it closes out its 2010 slate at Mason and JMU.
JAMES MADISON (20-7 overall, 8-4 in CAA): The Dukes dropped a tough 3-2 decision at GSU on Friday before netting a four-set victory over UNCW to reach 20 wins for the first time since 2002. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Natalie Abel earned one of her two double-doubles on the weekend with 15 kills and 13 digs against the Panthers, while sophomore outside hitter Danielle Erb tallied her team-leading 13th double-double of the season with 17 kills and 15 digs to help lift JMU over the Seahawks.
UNC WILMINGTON (7-21 overall, 1-11 in CAA): Following setbacks to Mason and JMU in its final two home matches of the season, UNCW has now lost 11 straight conference contests after opening conference play with a 3-2 triumph over Towson. Senior outside hitter Kelli Clear posted a team-best 11 digs and junior setter Kelsey Bendig handed out a team-high 15 assists as the Seahawks were swept by the Patriots, while Clear finished with 14 kills and 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the season in a 3-1 loss to the Dukes. UNCW heads to Delaware and Towson for its final matches of 2010.
NORTHEASTERN (17-9 overall, 8-4 in CAA): The Huskies remain right in the thick of the postseason hunt after humbling Hofstra, 3-0, for the second time in 2010. Senior setter Britney Brown now boasts a team-best 15 double-doubles after registering 11 kills and 11 digs in the win. NU completes the regular season with key matchups against JMU and Mason beginning on Friday.
TOWSON (14-15 overall, 2-10 in CAA): Towson swept W&M on Friday to earn its second conference win of the season before being bested by VCU in a back-and-forth five-set barnburner the following day. Freshman outside hitter Katy Buck led the Tigers with 29 kills and 14 digs in the two matches, while sophomore outside hitter Amanda Halls posted a pair of double-doubles after finishing the week with 26 kills and 35 digs. Towson welcomes GSU and UNCW to town this weekend.
VCU (11-18 overall, 9-4 in CAA): The Rams remain second in the CAA after splitting a pair of matches last week. The squad was swept by Delaware for the second time this season on Friday before outlasting upset-minded Towson, 15-5, in the fifth set a day later. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Kristin Boyd collected a career-high 18 kills while her Rams skied for a season-high 20 blocks in Saturday's win over the Tigers. VCU hosts W&M on Friday in both teams' regular-season finale.
WILLIAM & MARY (10-15 overall, 4-9 in CAA): The Tribe has now dropped four of its last five decisions after getting swept by Towson and Delaware last week. Freshman outside hitter Celine Alasomuka has now secured the second-most digs in a season for a W&M rookie with 330 after tallying 22 over the weekend, while outside hitter Lindsay Kresch's 16 kills in the team's two matches helped her surpass the 500 mark for her career. The Tribe closes out its season at VCU on Friday.