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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Volleyball Hosts Columbia Invitational to Open Katz Era

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 09/04/2014
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  vs. Bucknell   vs. Stony Brook   vs. Fairfield
Date Fri., Sept. 5   Sat., Sept. 6   Sat., Sept. 6
Time 7:30 p.m.   12 p.m.   7 p.m.
Venue Levien Gymnasium 
  Levien Gymnasium    Levien Gymnasium 
Stream ILDN   ILDN   ILDN
Stats Live Stats   Live Stats   Live Stats
Notes      Columbia Invitational Notes
Directions      Dodge Fitness Center - Levien Gymnasium

NEW YORK – The Columbia volleyball team opens up the 2014 regular season this weekend, its first under head coach Brie Katz, when it welcomes Bucknell, Stony Brook and Fairfield to Levien Gymnasium for the Columbia Invitational. The Lions kick-off the two-day tournament Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. against the Bison, before taking on the Seawolves and the Stags Saturday, Sept. 6 at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

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Free Weekend on Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network will kick off its second year broadcast schedule with a free opening weekend.

Lions fans can catch the volleyball team serve up the Katz era in HD quality on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and watch the Columbia soccer program’s make their debut on the Network free of charge this weekend. The women’s team takes the pitch against Sacred Heart Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., while the men’s squad commences its season by hosting Michigan at Rocco B. Commisso Stadium Saturday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m.

To sign up for your free weekend with The Ivy League Digital Network, click here.

Columbia Invitational

The Lions went 1-2 at the Columbia Invitational last season and is 13-4 all-time in the tournament, which dates back to 2009. Columbia has swept the field of competition twice since the inception of the annual event with the last unbeaten record coming in 2012.

Bucknell and Stony Brook have each took the court at the invitational once before. The Bison went 0-3 in 2012, while the Seawolves posted a 2-1 mark in 2009. Fairfield makes its first appearance in the annual tournament this season.

The Match-Ups
Friday, Sept. 5
5 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
  Fairfield vs. Stony Brook
Columbia vs. Bucknell
Saturday, Sept. 6
10 a.m.
12 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
7 p.m.
  Bucknell vs. Fairfield
Columbia vs. Stony Brook
Bucknell vs. Stony Brook
Columbia vs. Fairfield

Lowdown on the Lions
Columbia raises the curtain on its 32nd season of volleyball and its first under the guidance of Brie Katz as head coach. The Lions, which will be playing in tournaments each of the first three weekends of the season, went 6-17 a year ago and 4-10 in Ivy League play.

Opening Act
Columbia is 3-6 in season-opening matches since the arrival of Brie Katz on the sidelines in 2005 and 12-14 since 1988. Looking to snap a four-match losing skid on opening day, the Lions’ last victory on the first day of the season came by way of a 3-0 decision at North Carolina Wilmington in 2009.

Look Who’s Back
Columbia returns nine letterwinners to the court in 2014 including junior Bailey Springer, an All-Ivy League second team performer in 2013. The outside hitter led the Lions and the Ivy League in kills (3.55 kps) and points (3.89 pps) and excelled on the defensive side of the net with 2.11 dps. Classmates Atlanta Moye-McLaren and Jennifer Petrovich will also be looked upon to contribute on both sides of the net. Moye-McLaren, an outside hitter, produced 3.10 kps and a team-best 3.37 dps a year ago, while Petrovich added 7.40 aps and 2.16 dps as the Lions’ primary setter.

After a season sidelined due to injury, senior captain Charlee Dyroff returns to Morningside Heights for her final campaign and will be relied upon in the back row after averaging 3.89 dps in 2012. Junior Katarina Jovicic who notched 0.83 bps and a team-high attack percentage .320 in 2013 will join Dyroff in the captain role.

Also returning for the Lions are Zoe Jacobs (1.91 kps), Lucy Tilton (1.92 kps), Kesi Neblett (0.98 bps) and Alex Reale (1.36 kps).

First-Year Five-Pack
Five members of the Class of 2018 have been added to the roster for the 2014 season; Alex Andrejev, Caitlin Cole, Carla Dibbs, Liz Fredrickson and Anja Malesevic. The first-year five-pack, which represents Virginia, California, Louisiana, Washington and Serbia is comprised of two middle blockers, two outside hitters and a setter.

More Reading: Volleyball Adds Three Incoming First-Years to the Mix

Pacing the Sidelines
Brie Katz, who has been on the bench of the Lions in multiple roles for the past nine seasons, takes over as head coach at Columbia in 2014. As associate head coach, Katz helped the Lions post a program best record against Ivy League opponents, 9-5, in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012. Katz will be joined on the bench by assistant coaches Adriano Di Peco, an Italian youth and professional league coach, and Faimie Kingsley, a four-year letterwinner and 2013 graduate of Denver.

More Reading: Brie Katz Promoted to Head Volleyball Coach | Volleyball Announces the Addition of Di Peco as Assistant Coach | Women’s Volleyball Welcomes Kingsley to Coaching Staff for 2014-15 Season

Leaders of the Lions
A pair has been elected to lead the Lions as co-captains this season as senior Charlee Dyroff and junior Katarina Jovicic share the leadership responsibilities.

More Reading: Dyroff and Jovicic Named Volleyball Captains for 2014.

Breaking Down the Bison
Bucknell opened its 2014 campaign last week with a 1-2 showing at the Titan Classic. The Bison dropped matches to Cal State Fullerton, 1-3, and Texas Tech, 2-3, before taking down Sacred Heart, 3-2, for its first victory of the year.

The Bison received a balanced attack with Jordan Walker (2.36 kps), Hailey Stout (2.29 kps) and Karen Campbell (2.07 kps) leading the charge. Meghan Wentzel tallied 7.29 aps as the team’s primary setter with Kristen Parks (3.57 dps) and Campbell (1.43 bps) pacing the defensive effort.

History with Bucknell
Friday marks the 13th edition of the Columbia-Bucknell series. Despite picking up a straight-set victory over the Bison in the team’s last meeting on Sept. 18, 2010, Columbia trails the all-time series, which dates back to 1984, 5-7.

Scouting the Seawolves
Stony Brook enters the weekend 2-2 after going 2-1 at the DePaul Invite and falling to its in-state rival Hofstra in straight sets Wednesday night. Melissa Rigo sports a 3.07 kps average while Kathy Fletcher has added 2.73 kps. Both Nicole Vogel and Hannah Dolan have contributed to the offense, dishing out 5.40 aps and 4.67 aps, respectively. Laura Hathaway has provided steady play in the back row for the Seawolves with 2.33 dps as Taylor Gille protects the net with 1.00 bps. 

History with Stony Brook
Columbia and Stony Brook are prepared to meet on the court for the first time.

Something About the Stags
Fairfield went 1-3 in its opening weekend of play, knocking off Coastal Carolina, 3-2, after dropping matches against Eastern Washington, 1-3, UNC Wilmington, 0-3, and NC State, 1-3, at the NC Wilmington Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Classic.

Caitlin Stapleton, who posted 2.25 kps, and Hadley Orr, who turned in a 1.81 kps, opening weekend lead the Stags. Carsen Mata (5.56 aps) and Sydney Buckley (2.64 aps) split the setting duties, with Camille Coffey (3.56 dps) and Megan O’Sullivan (1.25 bps) carrying the load defensively.

History with Fairfield
Columbia will look for its first win against Fairfield in program history this weekend as the Lions trail the all-time series with the Stags that dates back to 1989, 0-4.

Previewing What’s to Come
Head coach Brie Katz recently caught up with GoColumbiaLions.com to preview the upcoming season.

Hall of Famer
Columbia’s women’s volleyball will see its first former player inducted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame this October as Kathy Lavold ’03BC has been bestowed the honor. The three-year letterwinning middle blocker etched her name throughout the Lions’ record book and was a crucial member of Columbia’s winningest season in 2000.

More Reading: Hall of Fame Series: Kathy Lavold ’03BC

Looking Ahead
Columbia will make its first road trip of the season as it travels to our nation’s capital for the Colonial Challenge Sept. 12-13. The Lions open the tournament Friday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. against the host George Washington before facing Illinois State at 5 p.m. Columbia closes the tournament on Saturday, Sept. 13 with a 12 p.m. match versus Baylor. 

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