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College Volleyball – Code Cranberry
Rider Hosts La Salle Wednesday Night
LAWRENCEVILLE—High intensity, high energy, high expectations and now, in high definition.
The Rider University volleyball team will try to match its best start since the 1984 season when the Broncs host the Explorers of La Salle University on Wednesday evening in Alumni Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Admission is free.
The match is the 2013 home opener for the Broncs who have brought high intensity and high energy to their first seven matches, resulting in a 6-1 record.
Adding to the high expectations surrounding the match is the unveiling of Rider’s new high definition Daktronics video board which was installed this summer.
The upgrade in technology will allow all non-televised volleyball matches, wrestling meets and men’s and women’s basketball games to be streamed for the first time in high definition on BroncVision and MAAC.TV, the official pay per view video outlet for Rider Athletics, utilizing an HD Tricaster by NewTek as well as the 3Play replay system and live video editor.
The new video board will feature graphics, player photos, live statistics and replays as well as numerous other features as the season evolves.
Befitting the upgrade in technology is the on the court play of the volleyball team, which has earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference accolades the first two weeks of the season.
Rider is led by senior Bridget Sheerin (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) who was recognized as the MAAC Player of the Week as Rider went 4-0 and won the Terrier Invitational, hosted by Saint Francis Brooklyn.
Sheerin put up Most Valuable Player type numbers (no all-tourney team was named), averaging 3.20 kills per set, attacked over .400 and compiled 34 points as Rider won nine of 10 sets. Sheerin had 15 kills and two blocks against Howard in a four-set win on September 6 and for the week, Sheerin averaged 3.15 kills per set and had an attack percentage of .474.
Sheerin is 19th nationally in hitting percentage (.452).
With six rookies on the roster, youth is also being served with freshman Kaitlyn Griffin (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) leading the charge as a two-time MAAC Rookie of the Week honoree.
A 6-1 middle hitter, Griffin appeared in 11 of 13 sets, and hit .319 this past week. She averaged 2.91 kills per set to go along with 44 points, 13 blocks (1.18 blocks per set) and five service aces.
Griffin had 11 kills and four blocks in a road win at Fairleigh Dickinson on September 4 (attacking .381) and followed that performance with 10 kills, four blocks, two digs and two service aces in a four-set win over Howard on September 6.
Griffin had nine kills while attacking at a .471 clip with three blocks and 12.5 points helping Rider clinch the tournament championship over Saint Francis Brooklyn on September 7.
Junior Ashlee Amatulli (Menifee, Calif./Temecula Valley) is also off to a hot start for Rider, compiling 144 assists (6.55 per set). She recently picked up career assist 1,500 against Fairleigh Dickinson in a 3-0 Rider win.
Rider’s best server, Amatulli is 51st nationally in aces per set.
As a team, Rider is 25th nationally in hitting percentage (.286), 27th with 1.82 aces per set. The Broncs lead the MAAC and are 29th nationally (.857) in winning percentage.
La Salle enters the matchup having dropped seven straight after its season opening win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The Explorers experienced a tough weekend tournament in Baltimore, dropping all three matches in straight sets against Loyola Maryland, Delaware and UMBC.
Rider and La Salle last met in Philadelphia on September 12, 2012 when the Explorers jumped ahead two sets to none and held on for a five-set win over the Broncs, 25-14,26-24,17-25,16-25,15-12, one of four, five-set losses Rider in 2012.
La Salle leads the all-time series 24-12, which began in 1980. Rider lost to La Salle 3-2 in Lawrenceville in 2011. The Explorers defeated Rider 3-0 in Philadelphia to open the 2010 season.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for a good seat as a large crowd is expected with the match also designated as a Code Cranberry event.
There is a slogan among Rider Athletes, that there are 341 athletes, 20 sports but 1 team. Rider SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Council), SAM (Student-Athlete Mentors) and members of the Captains' Leadership Seminar took that slogan and expanded it to create Code Cranberry.
On designated Code Cranberry dates, all varsity student-athletes are asked to come out to the contest, wearing their Code Cranberry tee-shirt, and cheer on their fellow student-athletes in an effort to show that while they compete in different sports, they are all part of one team, and that team is Rider Athletics.
High intensity, high energy and high expectations will literally be on display in Alumni Gym. The place to be and be seen (in high definition) is at the Rider volleyball match on Wednesday night.