|Junior Morgan Thatcher|
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire volleyball team will play host to Holy Cross, Central Connecticut State and William & Mary in the Holly Young Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7-8. The tourney kicks off on Friday when CCSU meets William & Mary at 4:30 p.m. The annual tournament is a long-standing tradition at UNH and is named after Holly Young, a former member of the Wildcat volleyball team who in 2008 lost her battle with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
The Wildcats (2-5, 0-0) will play Holy Cross at 7 p.m. Friday night, Central Connecticut at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and will wrap up the tournament at 7 p.m. when they take on William & Mary for UNH's "Pack the Arena" night.
Coaching Ties: On Friday night, the Wildcats will take on former UNH player and assistant coach Erin Cady (Walker), who is in her second year as head coach of the Holy Cross volleyball team. Walker, a 2006 UNH graduate, was a three-time all-conference selection for the Wildcats and ranks fourth all-time in kills (1,280). Walker was a two-time team captain at UNH and also served as a graduate assistant coach during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Scouting Holy Cross (Friday, 7 p.m.): The Holy Cross volleyball team enters the Holly Young Invite at 0-6 on the season after facing tough competition at the Beanpot Classic and CCSU Invitational. Senior Megan Lynch leads the Crusaders with 2.79 kills per set, while sophomore Hannah Grace Stokes is averaging 5.83 assists per set. Sophomore Mary Kate Short is ranked third in the Patriot League with 0.94 blocks per set.
The Series vs. Holy Cross: New Hampshire is 12-0 all-time against Holy Cross. In the most recent meeting (10/26/11), the Wildcats picked up a 3-1 victory at the Holy Cross Fieldhouse in Worcester, Mass. Friday's match will be the first time the Crusaders have competed in a tournament at UNH since the 2007 season.
Pack the Arena: Saturday night's match against William & Mary marks the 12th-straight "Pack the Arena Night" at Lundholm Gymnasium. In that span, attendance at the event has averaged over 1,200, with an all-time high of 2,415 coming in the 2005 event against PAC-12 foe Stanford University. The orginal attendance record was established in 2000 when 1,949 people packed into Lundholm Gymnasium when the event was first established. UNH is hoping to break the mark of 2,415 in this year's event.
Dunklau Repeats as AE Setter of the Week: Sophomore Taylor Dunklau (Mukwonago, Wis.) earned her second straight Setter of the Week award by averaging a league-best 10.21 assists per set over the four-match span last week. The sophomore setter, who also added 20 digs and five blocks, paced UNH to a .188 hitting percentage for the week, which was the best in the conference. Dunklau racked up 47 assists in a five-set loss to Rhode Island at the Rutgers Invitational and went on to lead the Wildcats past Iona, 3-0, as she paced her team to a .333 hitting percentage with 39 assists.
League Leaders: As a team, New Hampshire leads the America East in kills (12.00), digs (15.04) and opponent hitting percentage (.169). Individually, Dunklau ranks first in the conference in assists (10.15), while senior libero Jessie Schnepp (East Longmeadow, Mass.) paces the league with 5.26 digs per set.
The Series vs. CCSU: New Hampshire is 5-4 all-time against Central Connecticut State.
The Series vs. William & Mary: New Hampshire and William & Mary will face off for the first time in the history of the two schools.
Up Next: After the Holly Young Invitational, UNH heads back out on the road on Tuesday, Sept. 11 when they visit Bryant University at 7 p.m.