POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist volleyball team opens its 2012 home slate this weekend when the Red Foxes play host to the Volley in the Valley Tournament at McCann Arena on Saturday and Sunday. Marist will play matches against NJIT and Hartford on Saturday before wrapping up the tournament Sunday with a matinee matchup with Fordham.
The Red Foxes are coming off of a 2-1 weekend to open the season at the Hofstra Asics Invitational. The team opened up with a strong 3-0 victory over Providence on Friday night before falling tournament-host Hofstra Saturday afternoon. They rebounded in a strong way later that evening, defeating Fairleigh Dickinson in straight sets. Hanna Stoiberg (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) led the charge with 47 assists, 24 kills, 15 digs, 9 blocks and 7 service aces, earning a selection to the All-Tournament Team and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week honors. Grace Hill (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was the team-leader with 31 kills while also adding 25 digs. Mackenzie Stephens (Holland, Mich.) recorded 13 total blocks and Brooke Zywick (Garden City, Mich.) led the Red Foxes with 33 digs.
Marist will open its weekend with the second match of the tournament against NJIT at 12:30 Saturday afternoon. NJIT enters the weekend with a 1-3 record on the season. They fell to fellow MAAC foe Iona on Wednesday by a 3-1 score. The Highlanders are led by Janet Snell who has 41 kills and 39 digs thus far. Anna Mercado leads the team with 95 assists Renata Pandalfo has a team-high 72 digs. Last season, the Red Foxes defeated NJIT 3-0 at the West Point Challenge. Senior Joanna Foss (Northville, Mich.) led the offense with a match-high 14 kills while adding eight digs and three block assists. Hill had a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs. Stoiberg had 22 assists, 16 digs and 7 kills. Marisa Gilbert (Pflugerville, Texas) had six block assists.
The Red Foxes will play their second match at 6 p.m. on Saturday against Hartford. The Hawks also arrive in Poughkeepsie with a 1-3 record after they dropped a four-set match at Central Connecticut State on Wednesday. Hartford's big threat is Sareeta Nethersole who leads the Hawks with 61 kills, 47 digs and 8 total blocks in four matches. Additionally, Jackie Tamburri has 167 assists and seven service aces. In 2011, Marist traveled to Hartford and emerged with a hard-fought 3-2 win. Gilbert had 10 blocks, the second highest performance by a Red Fox and the highest output since 2000, to go along with six kills while Hill had her third double-double effort of the season with 17 kills and 13 digs. Foss also had a double-double, her first of the season, with 15 kills and 11 digs.
The matchup with Fordham at 2 p.m. on Sunday will conclude the tournament. The Rams come in at 0-5 on the young season, including a straight-set defeat to MAAC opponent Siena at the Boston College Invitational last weekend. Fordham is paced on offense by Lisa Hipp who has registered 56 kills in the team's five matches. Abigail Konovodoff is the team leader with 160 assists while Maria Rodenberg has 47 digs. Randi Ewing and Carina Thompson have 18 and 16 total blocks, respectively. While the two teams did not meet last season, Marist is 6-6 all-time versus Fordham, with the last meeting taking place back in 2005, a 3-0 Rams victory.
2012 Volley in the Valley Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 1 10 A.M. Fordham vs. Hartford
12:30 P.M. MARIST vs. NJIT
3:30 P.M. NJIT vs. Fordham
6 P.M. MARIST vs. Hartford
Sunday, Sept. 2 11 A.M. Hartford vs. NJIT
2 P.M. MARIST vs. Fordham