<P><B>Sept. 14, 2006</B><P>
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<P>One of the most anxious times in the life of any teenager is the adjustment of beginning their college career. For UD freshman <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/christoff_chelsy00.html" >Chelsy Christoff</a> that transition has included a role on one of the top volleyball programs in the nation off to a 7-4 start entering the Diet Coke Classic this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn.
<P>Christoff has fit into a role as a defensive specialist early for the Flyers which have recorded all seven of their victories by 3-0 sweep this season. The freshman out of La Grange Park, Ill. is averaging 2.00 digs per game this season to rank fourth on the team in that category. Her best match of the season came in a victory over #18 Arizona when she recorded nine digs and was a perfect 6-for-6 in service receptions. Christoff also served up three aces and added eight digs in a meeting with #14 Purdue.
<P>"I am shocked that I have been able to contribute to the team on the court in matches and in practice," Christoff commented. "I thought that I would have chances to play as a freshman, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to play this much, this soon."
<P>Among the biggest differences for Christoff between high school and collegiate volleyball is ability of each player on either team to make a difference.
<P>"The biggest adjustment I have had to make is that is doesn't matter what year you are in everyone expects you to be able to play at the college level," Christoff said. "I like it better that way because I feel that I can make a difference, even as a freshman. Also in high school and club ball, defense wasn't as big of an aspect of the game and it is in college. It is surprising how much more important defense is at the college level."
<P>That focus on defense has helped the Flyers hold their opponents to just a .165 hitting percentage against them this season, a mark that is the best of any team in the Atlantic 10 Conference heading into play this weekend.
<P>Although Christoff is off to a good start to her collegiate career, she has set lofty goals for herself to complete by the end of this season.
<P>"I want to get at least digs a match by the end of the season," Christoff said. "I know that if I can do that, I will be helping the team achieve its goals of winning another Conference Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament."
<P>Christoff will have three opportunities to record the first double-digit dig performance of her collegiate career this weekend in Minneapolis. Dayton opens play at the Diet Coke Classic on Friday at 6 p.m. ET against Tulane. The Flyers then face Connecticut (11 a.m. ET) and host Minnesota (8 p.m. ET) on Saturday.