Emory aims to stay unbeaten
Cortland State also puts up undefeated streak vs. ranked team
Who: No. 19 Cortland State vs. No. 18 UMass-Boston at Stevens Invitational
When: noon ET Sunday
Why: There are two matches on Saturday that they don't want to look past, but the Cortland State players have to be eyeing Saturday's first contest at the Stevens Invitational. It's one of four matches this weekend, but it's the biggest one on the slate as the Red Dragons and Beacons both bring in top-20 rankings.
|Cortland State vs. UMass-Boston|
|Kills per Set||13.60||13.72|
|Digs per Set||16.05||13.13|
Both teams had big matches already this week. Cortland State won a contest of unbeatens as the Red Dragons improved to 18-0 as it swept Clarkson 31-29, 25-16, 25-9, sending the Golden Knights to their first defeat and a 17-1 record. Senior Ashley Coyle had 11 kills, six digs and two blocks in the showdown. UMass-Boston also had a good primer as it needed a comeback against Tufts, winning the final two sets -- including overcoming a season-high 27 errors -- to take a 3-2 victory (16-25, 25-15, 20-15, 25-14, 15-12).
Cortland State, which has lost only six sets all season, is led by Coyle's 3.73 kills per set, one of six Red Dragons averaging better than two kills per set. The strong offensive numbers shouldn't be a surprise as the team is hitting .263 on the year, while adding 1.67 service aces and 1.83 blocks per set. The Beacons will match that with Shannon Thompson's 4.37 kills per set on .335 hitting. Thompson paces an offsen that is hitting .266 and averaging a solid 2.0 aces per set.
Who: No. 4 Emory at No. 20 Chicago
When: 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: Chicago looks to rebound from Thursday’s home loss against No. 3 Wheaton (Ill.) in its conference opener against undefeated Emory. The Eagles’ only matchup against a ranked opponent was their only game that was not a win -- a 1-1 tie against then-No. 19 Redlands. The goal by Redlands on Sept. 5 was the only score allowed through nine games by Emory’s defense. Since that tally, the Eagle defense, led by junior goalkeeper Kaele Leonard, hasn’t allowed a score in 733 minutes.
Chicago has lost three of its last four games including consecutive shutout losses against Illinois Wesleyan and DePauw earlier in the month. The Maroons need a win to help keep their status as a ranked team in addition to getting an early conference lead in the University Athletic Association standings.
Who: No. 11 Notre Dame vs. No. 15 St. John’s
When: 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: Two of the nation’s top defenses square off in a matchup that is bound to give the winner a leg up in the hunt for a Big East regular-season championship. The Red Storm, led by goalkeeper Rafael Diaz, recorded six consecutive shutouts prior to allowing two goals to both Connecticut and Princeton in the past week. He will be opposite Notre Dame’s goalkeeping wiz Will Walsh and the Fighting Irish defense which currently has a scoreless streak of 270 minutes.
Strong defensive play from both teams have made things easier on the offenses, which haven’t had to be relied on to score many goals. The Irish are averaging 1.6 goals a game while the Red Storm average 1.4.
Since Notre Dame joined the Big East in 1995, the two teams have met 20 times with the Red Storm holding an 11-4-5 advantage overall including a 7-0-1 mark at home.
Who: No. 11 Cal at Temple
When: 3 p.m. ET Friday
Why: The Golden Bears enter the weekend with an 11-2 record and have won two consecutive games. Andrea Earle has started all 11 games for the Golden Bears and has scored 11 goals and added five assists. This is the first time the Golden Bears will be playing on the east coast this season. Cal looks to improve on its 2010 east coast record of just 1-3.
Temple will be led by Bridget Settles, who is second in scoring in the Atlantic 10 with 10 goals. She also has two assists for a total of 22 points. Settles is also in the top 20 in the nation in goals per game (1.00). The Owls are looking to snap a three-game losing streak and hoping to pick up their second victory at home.
Who: Bowdoin Invitational
When: 12:45 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: Bowdoin, which is receiving enough votes to place just outside the top 25, is participating in its second meet of the season after the Polar Bears finished third at the Maine Invitational. Bowdoin was led by sophomore Coby Horowitz, who finished in seventh place with a time of 25:33.19. The Polar Bears had four runners who finished in the top 15.
No. 9 MIT will also participate in the meet. The Engineers finished first out of 34 teams at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational. MIT was led by senior Daniel Harper, who finished in second place on the eight-kilometer course with a time of 24:50.99 and helped the Engineers total a team score of 31 points for the win.
Who: No. 18 Redlands at Cal Lutheran
When: 10 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: Redlands is on the road for a tough Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener, and it will have a little more hype than normal. On Tuesday, the teams found out that they will be allowed to play on Cal Lutheran's new field. It will be the first game in William Rolland Stadium, an unfinished stadium that does have a completed field, lights and home grandstands.
Once the pregame celebration is out of the way, Redlands will look forward to getting back in action after having last Saturday off. The Bulldogs bring an offense that has averaged a shade under 400 total offense yards and QB Chad Hurst has passed for 271 yards per game and six touchdowns to open the season. Jordan Garcia has already posted four TFLs, a breakup and 20 tackles on defense, which has allowed 381 yards per game.
The Kingsmen look to continue their late scoring from last week's matchup with Pacfic Lutheran. CLU scored three times in the third quarter on the way to a 28-17 victory. A pair of two-yard runs and a 70 yard pass from Jake Laudenslayer to Frankie Jones sealed the win for the Kingsmen, who are averaging 201.5 rushing yards per game behind Daniel Mosier's 221 yards (6.9 ypc) and two TDs this year. He will be assisted by a defense that is allowing just 196.5 total offense yards per game. Chris Carr leads the way with 15 tackles, including 3.5 behind the line of scrimmage. Carr also has one of the team's 4.0 sacks through two games.
Who: No. 12 St. Thomas (Minn.) at Wartburg at Knights Classic
When: 2 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: The 12-2 Tommies ran their home-court winning streak to 12 matches earlier in the week but now look to pick back up on the road against Wartburg, which is just outside the AVCA Top 25 this week. The Knights are 13-4 heading into the weekend and are the hosts in the eight-team Knights Classic. Five teams have winning records and three -- St. Thomas, Wartburg and Cornell (Iowa) at 11-2 -- each have at least 11 wins on the year.
St. Thomas brings a strong offensive attack that features Kelly Foley, who paces the squad with 206 kills (4.12 kills per set) while hitting .362. Three other players -- Jill Greenfield, Taylor Cross and Paige Brimeyer -- have at least 100 kills with 158, 134 and 116, respectively. Ashley Maher adds 596 assists to set up the talented hitters.
Wartburg counters with junior Britlyn Sieck, who was named to the all-tournament team last week at the Gargoyle Classic hosted by Chicago. Sieck has hit .261 while averaging 3.21 kills per set. Head coach Jennifer Walker needs one win to record No. 300 for her career and four more to eclipse that mark for her time at the helm of Wartburg’s program.
Who: Alvernia at No. 10 Montclair State
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Why: The Red Hawks are off to their best start in school history with a 10-0 record. Montclair State is led by midfielder Brittany Carroll who has started all 10 games and has tallied 10 goals and four assists for 26 points. The Red Hawks' defense has only given up eight goals and has posted five shutouts on the year.
Alvernia should prove to be a tough test for the Red Hawks. The Crusaders are led by forward Sam Landis, who has scored six goals and two assists this season. Freshman goalkeeper Erin Wunsch has posted three shutouts for Alvernia during the 2011 campaign. The Crusaders are 7-2 on the season, including a solid 3-1 on the road, with both losses coming against top-25 teams. Alvernia currently is riding a four-game winning streak.
Who: No. T6 Wheaton (Ill.) at No. 22 Illinois Wesleyan
When: 7 p.m. ET Saturday
Why: An early battle for the inside track tothe College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin title awaits as Wheaton (Ill.) travels to take on Illinois Wesleyan. The Thunder are coming off a 49-15 drubbing of Olivet on Saturday to improve their non-conference win streak to 29 consecutive games. The victory concluded a perfect non-conference slate as Justin Swider carried the load. The sophomore RB was the CCIW Offensive Player of the Week after posting 128 yards on 12 carries last week. The multi-threat back added 86 yards on kick returns, including a long of 55 yards to finish with 214 all-purpose yards.
Host Illinois Wesleyan is looking forward to playing under the lights. Since 2001 when lights were added to the stadium, the Titans are 7-1 at night, including 1-0 last year. The only season IWU has played more than one night contest was 2008 when it split with Elmhurst (win) and Augustana (Ill.) (loss). Senior WR Joey Driver looks to continue his hot hand carrying the Titan offense after recording three receiving touchdowns in a 28-0 shutout against Aurora a week ago.
Game information compiled from and photos courtesy of respective athletic department websites.