CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- Two Bearcats, juniors Anna Lejina (Riga, Latvia/University of Latvia) and Lindsey Mueller (West Bend, Wisc./West Bend West), take home weekly awards after the first weekend of the 2009 volleyball season. Lejina, the player of the week, and Mueller, the setter of the week, helped Binghamton go 2-1 in the season's opening tournament. University of Hartford's Kami Nethersole (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) earned the conference's rookie of the week award after leading the Hawks through three matches.

Lejina, who finished off the 2008 season with a player of the week award, starts off the 2009 on the same track with another weekly honor. A member of the Hofstra/Asics All-Tournament team last weekend, the junior outside hitter helped lead Binghamton to a second-place tournament finish with a field consisting of Marshall, Rhode Island and Hofstra. Lejina posted 21 kills  and a career-high 11 digs in a five-set win over Rhode Island, while tallying nine and 10 kills respectively in three-set matches against Marshall and Hofstra. She added three aces and three blocks to her 3.64 kills and 1.73 digs per set averages on the weekend. This is Lejina's third career player of the week award.

Mueller, who received three weekly awards last season, earns the first setter of the week of 2009. She averaged 8.91 assists and 2.45 digs per set in helping Binghamton to a second-place finish at the Hofstra/Asics Tournament. In a five-set win over Rhode Island to finish off the weekend, Mueller recorded 53 assists, 19 digs, three kills and two blocks. She also registered 28 assists in a three-set victory over Hofstra earlier on Saturday. This is Mueller's fifth career setter of the week award.

Nethersole, an outside hitter, led the Hawks through three matches at the Niagara Invitational over the weekend and was named to the All-Tournament team. She opened her collegiate career with 13 kills in a 3-1 win over Providence, and she matched that number against Niagara to close out the weekend on Sunday. Nethersole finished the weekend third on the team with 21 total digs (2.10 dps) to go along with 3.30 kills per set. For the weekend, the rookie hit .256 with 12 errors in 82 total attempts.

Team Notebooks:

UAlbany (0-3 overall record, 0-0 America East record) lost all three matches at the MSU Showcase to start the season... The Great Danes won a set against North Carolina to start the tournament, but fell to the Tarheels, 3-1... UAlbany dropped both matches on Saturday to Michigan State and #12 Southern California, 3-0... Setter Brooke Stanley (Hendersonville, N.C./West Henderson) was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 9.50 assists per set over the weekend... Senior Hillary White (Aberdeen, S.D./Aberdeen/Colorado State) led the team offensively, averaging 2.80 kills per set to go along with 1.90 digs per set and three total blocks... Junior Teresa Coppiellie (Canton, Mich./Salem) and senior Valerie Sourbeer (Valley Center, Calif./Valley Center/Pacific) averaged 2.70 and 2.67 kills per set, respectively... Stanley also led the team with 2.60 digs, while Abbey Wexel (Virginia Beach, Va./Frank W. Cox) added 2.30 digs per set... The Great Danes return to action over the weekend, hosting Hofstra, Lamar and Seton Hall at the UAlbany Classic.

Binghamton (2-1, 0-0 AE) opened up its 2009 season by placing second at the Hofstra/Asics Invitational ... After falling to Marshall 3-0 on Friday night, the Bearcats rebounded on Saturday by defeating Hofstra 3-0 and Rhode Island 3-2 ... America East Player of the Week junior hitter Anna Lejina (Riga, Latvia/Riga Secondary School/University of Latvia) was named to the all-tournament team ... Lejina posted 3.64 kills per set (40 total) and had a weekend-high 21 kills in Binghamton's five-set match against Rhode Island ... Lejina also posted her first double-double of the season against the Rams by scooping a career-high 11 digs ... Junior hitter Michelle McDonough (Orland Hills, Ill./Andrew) averaged 2.82 kills and 2.00 digs on the weekend ... Senior libero Brianna Strong (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) had an outstanding opening weekend as she posted 5.82 digs per set, including a match-high 34 against Rhode Island ... The 34 digs break Binghamton's previous Division I record of 33, held by 2009 graduate Jaclyn Strader ... Senior middle blocker Dawn Lammert (Sussex, Wis./Arrowhead) had six blocks against Rhode Island and lead the team on the weekend in averaging 1.18 blocks ... Setter of the Week junior Lindsey Mueller (West Bend, Wis./West Bend West) gave out a match-high 53 assists against URI ... Next up for Binghamton will be the Marquette Invitational in Milwaukee, Wis. BU will take on Marquette, Butler and Austin Peay ... The trip is a homecoming for three Bearcat players (McDonough, Lammert and Mueller) who hail from the Milwaukee/Chicago area.

The Hartford volleyball team (2-1, 0-0 AE) finished the Niagara Invitational with a 2-1 record, defeating Providence and Coppin State and falling to the host Purple Eagles ... For their performances throughout the weekend, Rookie of the Week outside hitter Kami Nethersole and junior setter Lindsay Ford were both named to the All-Tournament team ... Nethersole led the Hawks with 33 total kills including 13 against Providence in her collegiate debut and then matched that number against Niagara on Sunday ... Nethersole also finished the weekend third on the team with 21 digs, including a season-high nine against Providence ... Ford finished the weekend with 87 total assists ... She opened the weekend with 25 assists against Providence then recorded 27 against Coppin State and 25 against Niagara ... Also leading the Hawks was senior middle and opposite side hitter Erin Macro who finished with 29 kills, putting up double digits against Providence (12) and Coppin State (10) ... Macro led the Hawks with 12 service aces, including a career-high nine against Providence ... defensively, the Hawks were led by sophomore's Danielle Etta and Michelle Cordell ... Etta, a defensive specialist, compiled 50 digs over the weekend, including a career-high 19 in the season opener against Providence ... Cordell, a middle hitter, led the Hawks blocking efforts with eight total blocks, three solo and five block assists ...  The Hawks will play four matches this week ... Marist will come to West Hartford for the home opener on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ... Hartford will then compete in the Blue Devil Invitational on Friday and Saturday joining NJIT, Manhattan and the host Blue Devils. 

UMBC (1-1, 0-0 AE) kicked off the 2009 season with the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament at home on Saturday, defeating Long Island in five, before falling to Northeastern in five... Freshman Ali Loynachan (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Sinclair) had an outstanding debut day, hitting 10 kills and four service aces against LIU, before hitting .556 with 11 kills, while adding nine digs and four block assists against the Huskies... Senior Ashley Oscars (Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty) earned a game-high 20 kills against LIU and a double-double (13 kills and 10 digs) against Northeastern... Sophomore Allie Spaay (Kenosha, Wisc./Kenosha Tremper) directed the offense in the first match, earning 55 assists and eight digs... Sophomore Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) hit 12 kills against only three errors against LIU and earned seven total blocks for the tournament... Junior Sabrina Hoeks (Olympia, Wash./AG West Black Hills) earned double digit kills in both matches with 11 against the Blackbirds and 13 against Northeastern... The Retrievers travel to the West Coast next weekend for the Long Beach State/UC-Irvine Invitational where they will face off against nationally-ranked Long Beach State and Indiana State on Friday and UC-Irvine on Saturday.

University of New Hampshire (0-3, 0-0 AE) went 0-3 against elite competition at the Big Orange Tournament on the campus of Syracuse University... The Wildcats opened with a 3-0 loss to the tournament host Orange... In that match, Taylor Dressing (Gillette, N.J./ Watchung Hills) registered a team-high nine kills, while Sara Heldman (Greenwood, Ind./ Center Grove) had a match-high 20 digs... On day two, UNH opened with a 3-0 loss to Sacramento State... In the match against Sacramento State, Justine Elliott (Mitchellville, Md./St. John's College), who was UNH's Big Orange All-Tournament selection, had a team-high 10 kills and hit at a .526 clip, while freshman setter Jansan Falcusan (Plymouth, Mich./ Plymouth-Salem) had a team-high 23 assists and 10 digs... The 'Cats completed play during the weekend with a 3-0 loss to Siena... Against Siena, Dressing paced the Wildcat offense with eight kills, seven digs and one block. Lauren Laquerre (Concord, N.H./Concord) chipped in with seven kills, while Lindsay Fogarty (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) and Elliott each added six kills... Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney) had a team-high 30 assists and also added 10 digs... New Hampshire gets back to action this week when it plays host to Bentley University in an exhibition match on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and will travel to the UConn Tournament for the weekend... The Wildcats will play the host Huskies as well as Texas Christian University and Long Island University.

Stony Brook (0-3, 0-0 AE) opened its 2009 campaign with near upsets of both Maryland and Villanova, taking both schools to five sets before dropping 3-2 decisions... Senior Harmonie Calinda had a great first weekend for Stony Brook, posting averages of 3.77 kills per set and 3.62 digs per set... Calinda recorded a double-double in all three of the Seawolves' matches... Senior Lindsey Gordon and junior Jeanette Gibbs also had solid weekends recording 2.00 kills/set and 3.00 digs/set respectively... Freshman Greta Strenger had a strong collegiate debut, leading the team in digs with 16 in her first start against Villanova.

 

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