Nov. 5, 2008
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The University of Dayton will play host to a pair of regional rivals this weekend when they face Xavier on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m. and Wright State on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 7:00 p.m. Dayton looks to sweep the season series against the Musketeers while Wright State makes the short hop from Fairborn in both teams' only meeting this season.
Xavier enters this weekend looking to avenge a 3-0 sweep at the Cintas Center on Oct. 30, after outside hitter Tiffany Gaerke unleashed 17 kills and 13 digs on the Muskies to earn her first collegiate double-double. In their last meeting, Xavier's Kelly Ruth notched a team-high 13 kills with a .256 hitting percentage. Jenn Welsh and Claire Paszkiewicz added 17 assists apiece in the loss while Ruth also added a team-high 14 digs.
UD stacked up well against Xavier as Kacie Hausfeld helped guide the team to a .327 hitting perecentage in the match. The Flyer offense chipped in together to earn their first win at Xavier since 2005. In addition to Gaerke's 17 kills, Bethany Akerhielm and Lindsay Fletemier both tallied nine kills. Becky Novacek and Nicole Bateman earned seven kills.
WRIGHT STATE INSIDER
UD and Wright State will play their 39th-ever meeting on Saturday when the Raiders look to derail the Flyers, who have dominated the series 9-1 in the past decade. Wright State is 4-7 on the road this season and 13-14 overall with wins against Indiana State and Cleveland State this season.
Lexi Leonhard leads the attack for Wright State. Leonhard averages 2.46 kills per set and has tallied 17 service aces for the Raiders. Michelle Hammond is the primary setter for WSU averaging 8.20 assists per set although Tina Paunicka has also had reps averaging 6.21 per set. Leonhard also leads the team averaging 3.11 digs per set.
LEADING THE WAY
Since starting conference play the University of Dayton Flyers have been a dominating force on both sides of the ball. Lindsay Fletemier and Bethany Akerhielm are ranked first and second respectively in hitting percentage for conference matches sporting .456 and .443 hitting percentages. In addition they lead the A-10 in combined (conference and non-conference) hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Kacie Hausfeld paces setters in the A-10, averaging 12.09 assists per game during conference play. Additionally, Fletemier is third in the conference in blocks per set, averaging 1.03 in A-10 play.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
As Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz would say, "There's No Place Like Home." That sentiment could not be truer for the Flyer Faithful. Not only have fans witnessed a 9-1 home record at the Frericks, Dayton outpaces its opponents at home winning 29 of 43 sets played at home.
Since Oct. 18 the Flyers have swept three out of their last four opponents. Dayton has swept Fordham, Duquesne, Xavier and Rhode Island. More remarkably, all but one of the aforementioned sweeps came while on the road.
Thus far, setter Kacie Hausfeld has been a benevolent setter for the Flyers since taking over setting duties. In fact, the team as a whole has benefitted by an increased hitting percentage under Hausfeld's guidance. The Flyers' hitting percentage has increased from .214 to .229 since the Sept. 27 match against Yale, while the hitting percentage of the Flyers' key offensive contributors (Bethany Akerhielm, Lindsay Fletemier, Tiffany Gaerke and Becky Novacek) have also increased. Senior middle blocker Bethany Akerhielm's percentage has increased from .333 to .388 while Dayton's big hitter Lindsay Fletemier has increased her percentages by over one point from .307 to .435.
THE AKERHIELM ATTACK
Bethany Akerhielm had a standout performance during the Dayton Flyer Invitational on Sept. 5 and 6. Akerhielm hit .385 from the floor with 2.29 kills per set, adding five digs and seven blocks to become the MVP of the Dayton Flyer Invitational. Against Charlotte, Akerhielm had 12 kills and a .409 attack percentage. On Oct. 10, Akerhielm had a career-high 19 kills against Temple for a .630 hitting percentage. Akerhielm is ranked second in the Atlantic 10 with a .357 hitting percentage.
As of late, senior Mandy Robbe has made a habit of playing lockdown defense. In the last three matches, Robbe averages 3.22 digs per set. On Oct. 30, Robbe added eight digs for the Flyers. She upped that performance when she posted a team-leading 15 digs at Rhode Island on Nov. 2. Robbe is averaging 2.98 digs per set this season ranking her fourth among the entire team.
THE GARDEN CITY GRENADE
Redshirt sophomore Lindsay Fletemier continues to be an explosive catalyst for the Flyer offense in her second season. Fletemier averages a team-high 3.28 kills per set. In addition, she has posted hitting percentages over .400 in 11 matches including .684 against UNLV on Aug. 29. Fletemier has matched her career-best twice for kills in a single match posting 21 on Sept. 5 against Northwestern then once more against Cincinnati on Oct. 7.
To say Bethany Akerhielm had a big weekend at the Lady Vol Classic on Sept. 12-14 would be an understatement. Akerhielm notched a .354 hitting percentage with 30 kills, 11 digs and seven blocks. She was named tournament MVP for the second straight week as she took home MVP honors in the Dayton Flyer Invitational the week before.
CRANK IT UP
Lindsay Fletemier has been swatting the ball with fury since starting Atlantic 10 play. In her last three matches Fletemier has averaged 4.11 kills per set. In addition, Fletemier has added seven blocks for the Flyers in the same time.
Valerie Akerhielm was named Co-Rookie of the Week by the Atlantic 10 on Sept. 15 after she took home a berth on the All-Tournament team for the Lady Vol Classic. In the tournament, Akerhielm had 49 digs for the Flyers. In the Dayton Flyer Classic, Akerhielm tallied 39 digs, including 16 digs in a five set win over BIG EAST favorite Louisville. Akerhielm recorded 41 digs in the UAlbany Invitational including 18 in a three-set sweep of Long Island University. Akerhielm came up big against the BIG EAST's Cincinnati notching 20 total digs helping her earn Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors for the second time on Oct. 13.
THE ALQUIPPA ASSAULT
Becky Novacek has been a solid performer for the Flyers this season. Novacek has pieced together a career high 14 kills against Towson on Sept. 6. She also added 12 kills against Tennessee on Sept. 14. In addition, Novacek has added 57 total blocks for the Flyers this season.
Nicole Bateman has collected double-doubles in 13 matches this season. Her most recent came against Saint Louis when she had 10 kills and 10 assists.
MASTER OF THE HAUS
Since stepping in for the ailing Erin Schroeder, setter Kacie Hausfeld has been a driving force of the Flyer offense. Hausfeld is averaging 11.60 assists per set since the Yale match. Hausfeld has also collected 102 digs and three double-doubles in that time. In addition, Hausfeld's hitters have combined for a .240 attack percentage and notched a season-high .482 match hitting percentage against La Salle. Hausfeld is ranked first in Atlantic 10 Conference matches averaging 12.09 assists per set.
ASSISTING THE ATTACK
Erin Schroeder ranks third in the Atlantic 10 with 10.26 assists per set. In addition, Schroeder was named to the Dayton Flyer Invitational and ASU Sheraton Classic All-Tournament teams. Schroeder is sidelined for the remainder of the season after tearing her ACL and meniscus in a match against Yale on Sept. 27.
On September 14, Erin Schroeder became just the second University of Dayton Flyer to surpass 1,000 digs and 1,000 assists in a career. She is the first Flyer to do this since Nicole Schott did in 2005. Schroeder was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Sept. 15 for her accomplishments in the Lady Vol Classic. Schroeder is sidelined for the remainder of the season after tearing her ACL and meniscus in a match against Yale on Sept. 27.
Tiffany Gaerke has been a noticeable threat for the Flyers offense this season. Gaerke averages 2.40 kills per set this season. Against Long Island, Gaerke hit .417 after going 13-of-24 from the floor. Gaerke earned all-tournament honors at the UAlbany Invitational. Against, George Washington, Gaerke hit above .400 once more going 18-of-34 for a .412 attack percentage. Gaerke picked up another 10 kills against Cincinnati in a non-conference matchup. On Oct. 11 Gaerke lit up the La Salle Explorers by hitting a whopping .765 in the match while picking up 14 kills. Gaerke was awared Player of the Week Honors on Nov. 3 after swatting 17 kills against Xavier on Oct. 30 and another 11 kills against Rhode Island on Nov. 2.
At the Lady Vol Classic, Bethany Akerhielm was named Tournament MVP for her ability to make big plays at key times. Akerhielm had 30 kills and a .354 hitting percentage in the tournament. Her sister, Valerie was also named to the All-Tournament team. Valerie put up 49 digs in the tournament including 29 digs in an upset over then No. 17 Illinois.
ANNA `EYTCHS' FIRST KILLS
Anna Eytchison tallied her first kills as a Flyer on September 12. In the 3-0 routing of Gardner-Webb, Eytchison added four kills, two digs and one assist. She recorded a season-high five kills against Yale on Sept. 26.
CAN YOU DIG IT?
Nicole Bateman ranks among the A-10's top defensive players. Bateman is seventh in the Atlantic 10 with 3.42 digs per set. Bateman recorded her 1,000th collegiate dig in a win over Northwestern on Sept. 5. Bateman added a team-leading 11 digs against Charlotte. Against Cincinnati, Bateman added a team-high 22 digs for the Flyers.
OK, NOW DIG THIS!
The Flyers are coming up with big digs as a team. Nicole Bateman had 35 digs in a four set win over the Towson Tigers. Valerie Akerhielm added 25 digs in an upset over then-ranked No. 17 Illinois. Senior Mandy Robbe added a season-high 19 digs against SEC opponent Tennessee. In addition, the Flyers are first in the A-10 with 15.26 digs per set.
BACK ON THE ATTACK
The Flyers are ranked second in the A-10 in kills per set with 13.71 per set. Lindsay Fletemier leads the team averaging 3.28 kills per set.
Lindsay Fletemier is second in the Atlantic 10 averaging 1.03 blocks per set. The Flyers are ranked second in the A-10 as a team, averaging 1.97 blocks per set. Against George Washington the Flyers piled on an astounding 18.0 team blocks with Fletemier picking up a team-high nine blocks (1 solo, 8 assists) in the match.
SHEFFIELD NABS FIRST WIN
Head Coach Kelly Sheffield collected his first win as a Flyer on Aug. 29 after helping direct the team to a 3-1 win over the UNLV Rebels. The Flyers closed out the Rebels 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 26-24.
FLYING HIGH IN FRERICKS
The ferocious Frericks Center has been a challenge for visitors over the past five seasons as the Flyers hold a 60-12 (.833) record at home since 2004. The 5,000-seat venue is the third-largest volleyball only facility in the nation and with an average attendance of more than 1,000, the Frericks Center gives the Flyers a definite home court advantage.
The Frericks Center has been a formidable piece of the Flyer artillery. This season Dayton has won nine of their ten games played at Frericks including big wins over Louisville and Northwestern. Their only loss came at the hands of then No. 20 Purdue when the Boilermakers won 3-2.
Dayton has appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times since 2003. They have advanced to the second round twice in 2003 and 2007. Last season they played to a sold out crowd at Frericks Center as the Flyers hosted the First and Second Rounds.
SIZING UP THE COMPETITION
The Flyers will face a competitive schedule this season matching up against nine teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season while taking part in 15 home matches at Frericks Center. The average record of this season's opponents in 2007 was 18-13 with nine different teams reaching the 20-win plateau. Cleveland State, Miami (Ohio), Long Island, Louisville, Ohio, UNLV and Xavier all took part in the NCAA First Round while Albany and Purdue each advanced to the NCAA Second Round. Five schools won their conference tournament while three others advanced to their respective championship match.
COOKING WITH SHEFF
The University of Dayton welcomed Kelly Sheffield as the seventh head coach in Flyer volleyball history on March 25, 2008.Sheffield, a native of Muncie, Ind., came to UD after seven seasons as the head coach at Albany. A two-time America East Conference Coach of the Year, Sheffield led the Great Danes to three trips to the NCAA Tournament including a berth in the second round this past season. Albany won back-to-back Conference Tournament Championships under Sheffield and three titles in his last four years. In addition, Albany volleyball won 20 matches or more in four out of five seasons.
FLYERS TOPPING 20
UD has won at least 20 matches in each of the last seven seasons. The Flyers have also posted 13 consecutive winning seasons and have more wins in the last five seasons (110) than any other five-year period in its Division I history.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE FLYER FAMILY
In addition to signing Kelly Sheffield to be the next head coach for UD, the Flyers also welcomed two new faces to the mix. Assistant coaches Matt Affolder and Kristin Fiorillo joined the Flyer family in April to complete the coaching staff for the season.
Affolder made his way to UD after stops in Indiana, Southern Illinois and Indiana State before calling himself a Flyer. During his time at IU, Affolder worked as a recruiting coordinator and coach of the outside hitters with the Hoosiers.
Fiorillo, one of Sheffield's former student-athletes, joined the staff after a year-long stint with Division III SUNY New Paltz. Fiorillo was the top assistant for SUNY New Paltz and helped guide them to a 27-12 overall record and an 8-2 mark in SUNYAC play. The squad advanced to the semifinals of their conference tournament on the strength of the SUNYAC East Division Player of the Year, one First Team selection and two Second Team picks.