Rider hoping for a Magical Run at the Magic Kingdom
ORLANDO, Fla.--In a place where dreams really do come true, the Rider University volleyball team is hoping that its ultimate wish will be granted, a conference championship and a trip to the 2010 NCAA Division I volleyball championships.
Rider (3-25, 2-16 MAAC) travels to ESPN's Wide World of Sports and the Magic Kingdom for the 10-team, double elimination Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference volleyball championships November 18-20.
The Broncs, who are the 10 seed, face seventh seeded Marist College in the opening round on Thursday at 11am.
Rider split with the Red Foxes this season, defeating Marist 3-2 on October 31 in Alumni Gym after losing 3-2 in Poughkeepsie, New York October 9.
The winner of the Rider-Marist match will face second seed Iona College at 5pm on Thursday.
The loser of the Bronc-Red Fox match up will play again on Friday in an elimination match at 11am.
The Iona match winner will advance to the semifinals on Friday which will be broadcast on ESPN3 at 8pm. The championship match will be Saturday at 2pm, also on ESPN3.
Rider is led by senior Amanda Piccolini (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) who is seventh in the MAAC in assists per set with 7.64 and senior Elyse Grassmuck (San Antonio, Texas/La Vernia) who is seventh in the conference with 0.33 aces and eighth with 3.60 digs per set. Grassmuck is 100th nationally in aces entering the tournament.
Niagara, the defending MAAC champion, went 17-1 in conference play and the Purple Eagles are the top seed for the 2010 championships.
The MAAC last visited Florida for the 10-team championships in 2006 when Rider went 0-2 as the number eight seed. In 2002 at Disney, Rider went 1-2 as the 10 seed and in 1998 the Broncs went 0-2 at Disney as the number six seed.
The Broncs last made the four-team MAAC playoffs in 2004, losing to Iona 3-0 in the semifinals.
LiveStats for all matches will be provided by the MAAC and links will be available on the Rider Athletic web site at www.GoBroncs.com.