RICHMOND, Va. (November 15, 2012) - The
2012 CAA Volleyball Championship is set to begin Friday on the campus of Towson
University at the Towson Center Arena in Towson, Md. The six-team field will be
competing for the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Volleyball Championship.
The championship will open on Friday as
third-seeded Northeastern (20-6, 9-3 in CAA) faces sixth-seeded James Madison
(12-15, 5-7 in CAA) at 4:00 p.m., followed by fourth-seeded Hofstra (18-13, 6-6
in CAA) against fifth-seeded William & Mary (13-13, 6-6 in CAA) at 7:00
p.m. In Saturday's semifinals, second-seeded Delaware (15-13, 9-3 in CAA) meets
the Northeastern/JMU winner at 4:00 p.m., and top-seeded Towson (25-3, 12-0 in
CAA) takes on the Hofstra/William & Mary winner at 7:00 p.m. The
championship match will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Towson enters the championship as the top
seed for the first time since 2004 after finishing with a perfect 12-0 record
in conference play. Towson, which is riding an 18-match winning streak, has
been prolific on offense this season, leading the CAA in hitting percentage
(.284), assists (1,355), and kills (1,452). The Tigers have also made their
presence known nationally by ranking third in the NCAA in kills per game
(14.82) and fifth in assists per game (13.83). Offensively, junior outside
hitter Katy Buck leads the team with
339 kills (3.46 k/s) while Alysha
McCreary anchors the Tiger defense with 94 blocks (1.03 b/s) this season.
Senior setter Aubrey Kirven leads
the CAA with 1,197 total assists while ranking second in the NCAA in assists
per set (12.60). Towson will be looking to win its second CAA championship and
first since 2004.
Delaware comes into the championship as
winners of seven of its last eight matches and will be looking to win its third
consecutive CAA championship. The Blue Hens boast one of the youngest lineups
in the CAA (seven underclassmen) and bounced back from a 3-11 start to the season
to finish 9-3 in CAA play and earn the second seed. Delaware is led by senior
captains Alissa Alker and Chelsea Lawrence. Alker leads the team
in kills (301, 3.01 k/s,) and digs (327, 3.27 d/s) while Lawrence leads the team
in hitting percentage (.251) and blocks (93, 0.95 b/s). The Blue Hens have also
received immediate contributions from freshman setter Mackenzie Olsen and freshman libero Ariel Shonk. Olsen leads the team with 1,009 total assists (10.09
a/s) while Shonk has recorded a league-leading 571 digs this season (5.71). Delaware
will be seeking its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Northeastern earned a spot in the
championship for the sixth time in seven seasons and will be the third-seed
after a 9-3 record in CAA play. The Huskies have held opponents to a league-low .169 hitting percentage due in large part to
82 total blocks (0.90 b/s) from senior middle hitter Nicole Bishop and 500 digs (5.49 d/s) from sophomore libero Natalia Skiba. Offensively the Huskies
are led by Kelly Bacon, who ranks
first on the team in 326 kills (3.58 k/s) while playing in all 91 sets this
season. Northeastern will be seeking its first CAA championship and its first
NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001.
Hofstra will be making its first
appearance in the CAA Championship since 2008 and has earned the fourth seed
with a 6-6 record in conference play. The Pride has won their last four matches
entering the tournament including a dramatic 3-1 victory over James Madison
last Saturday. Sophomore outside hitter Kelsie
Wills leads the CAA with 513 kills (4.42 k/s) while adding 248 digs (2.14
d/s), 64 blocks, and 33 service aces. Senior Nikki Kinnier ranks second on the team with 297 kills and also has
81 blocks, while sophomore Emily Burke
has contributed 201 kills. Hofstra will be seeking its second CAA championship
and first since 2006.
Fifth-seeded William & Mary will be
looking to win its CAA-leading ninth volleyball championship, but its' first
since 2001. The Tribe enters their 23rd CAA Volleyball Championship led
by senior middle hitter Shaylin
O'Connell and sophomore outside hitter Paulette
Grand Pre. O'Connell leads the team with 88 blocks (0.94 b/s) while adding
187 kills (1.99 k/s). Grand Pre ranks first on the team in kills (218, 2.42
k/s) and service aces (25, 0.40 sa/s). The Tribe will also rely heavily on
four-time CAA Rookie of the Week selection Dessi
Koleva, who enters the championship with 199 kills (2.29 k/s), 213 digs
(2.45 d/s), and 43 blocks (0.49 b/s).
James Madison earned the sixth and
final seed in their CAA-leading 24th championship appearance. The
Dukes are led by senior outside hitters Natalie
Abel (232 kills, 3.05 k/s) and Danielle
Erb (322, 3.25 k/s). JMU also boasts the youngest team in the CAA (11
underclassmen) and will look to freshman Meghan
Niski, who finished the regular season with 230 kills (2.37 k/s) and 248
digs (2.56 d/s). The Dukes will be looking to win their first CAA championship
Tickets to Friday and Saturday's
matches are $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for children under the age of 17. These
ticket prices cover admission to both matches in Friday and Saturday action.
Admission to Sunday's championship match is $7.00 for adults and $5 for
children under 17. Students from a CAA institution will be admitted free
with a valid college ID.
All matches of the tournament will be
webstreamed for free on CAASports.com. For more information on the CAA
Volleyball Championship, including live stat links, recaps and more, check out
2012 CAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Towson Center Arena - Towson University -
Friday, November 16 - Quarterfinals
#3 Northeastern vs. #6 James Madison - 4:00
#4 Hofstra vs. #5 William & Mary - 7:00
Saturday, November 17 - Semifinals
#2 Delaware vs. NU/JMU winner - 4:00 p.m.
#1 Towson vs. Hofstra/W&M winner - 7:00
Sunday, November 18 - Championship
CAA Championship Game - 5:00 p.m.