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W&M Volleyball Heads to Towson, Delaware This Weekend
Updated: Thursday 10/24/2013 (ET)
by Jacob Skipper
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The William and Mary volleyball team wraps up its long roadtrip this weekend with a swing through the CAA's Mid-Atlantic tier, playing at Towson on Friday night and Delaware on Saturday.  The Tribe will take on both teams beginning at 7 p.m.

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Scouting the Tribe
William and Mary is 7-17 overall and 2-5 in-conference heading into the second half of the CAA schedule.  Junior Liz Brown (Ellicott City, Md.) has been having a career-best year, and leads the team at 3.01 kills per set with sophomore Dessi Koleva (Torrance, Calif.) close behind at 2.90 kills per set.  Paulette Grand Pre (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Celine Alasomuka (Centreville, Va.) are leading the Tribe's conference-best defense, with 4.13 and 3.16 digs per set, respectively, and sophomore Carolyn Albright (Raleigh, N.C.) is averaging 1.04 blocks per set after picking up eight against VCU on Tuesday night.

Scouting the Tigers
Towson is 7-19 on the year, and 0-7 in conference play under first-year coach Don Metil.  Saitaua Iosia has a team-best 2.98 kills per set, while Paige Sekerak has 3.87 digs per set and Lindsay Flaherty 0.91 block per set.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is 11-10 overall and 3-4 in the CAA after splitting with Hofstra and Northeastern last week.  Katie Hillman is one of the league's top hitters at 3.31 kills per set, and Mackenzie Olsen has been directing the offense very effectively with a CAA-best 9.75 assists per set.  On defense, Ariel Shonk is another league-leader, with 5.44 digs per set, and Jill Meyers has been providing 1.01 blocks per set.

The Series
W&M split against these two teams in Williamsburg earlier this season, defeating Towson 3-2 and falling to Delaware by the same score.  All-time, the Tribe is 15-13 against the Tigers, and 11-18 against the Blue Hens.

News and Notes
- W&M has played to a full five sets in four conference matches so far, and eight total on the season.  The program record for most five-set matches in a season is nine, set by both the 1986 and 2009 squads, and the most-ever in CAA play is six, achieved in 2006 and 2009.

- Oct. 4 was “Spike Out Breast Cancer Night” for the Tribe, who helped raise more than $2,400  for Beyond Boobs!, a Williamsburg-area organization devoted to support of breast cancer victims and health education.
- Freshman Kristen Larrick (Bethesda, Md.) was named the CAA Rookie of the Week on Oct. 7, the first weekly award of the season for the Tribe.  She was honored for her outstanding performances in the first series against UNCW and College of Charleston.

- In the first match against UNCW, Albright had a career-high 10 blocks, matching the 10th-best total ever posted in a five-set match for the Tribe.  Brown also set her career-high, chipping in on seven blocks.

- W&M’s defense was just as outstanding away from the net against the Seahawks with 109 total digs, tied for the 11th-best match ever in school history.  Grand Pre had 28 to lead all players, while Celine Alasomuka (Centreville, Va.) added 18, Koleva 16, Mallory Brickerd (Ashburn, Va.) a career-high 12, and Gabrielle Pe (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Paige Lucas (Asheboro, N.C.) had 11 apiece.

- Alasomuka now has more than 1200 digs in her career, and is just the fifth player in W&M program history to reach that mark.

- Freshman Stephanie Paul (North Bethesda, Md.) answered the starting call against Liberty on Oct. 1 with an outstanding 50 assists and 11 digs.

- Brown had a career-high 23 kills against James Madison on Sept. 27, matching the season-high set by Brickerd just three days earlier against Hampton.  Both marks were the most for a W&M player since 2009.

- Against Hampton on Sept. 24, Monika Stanciauskas (Wheaton, Ill.) had four aces, which was tied for the sixth-best mark in a five-set match ever at W&M, and Lucas had 60 assists, which was tied for the 14th-best performance ever.

- Brickerd earned all-tournament honors at the Hokie Invitational, after averaging 3.08 kills per set and reaching double-digit kills in all three matches.  Grand Pre was named to the all-tournament team at the Fullerton Invitational, making the most of her first appearances at libero.  She averaged 6.06 digs per set in the Tribe’s four matches, including 33 in the win over Kent State.  That performance was tied for seventh-most ever in a W&M match, and tied for fourth-best in five-set matches in school history.

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