NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team returns to the Bob Carpenter Center this weekend as the Blue Hens host James Madison and William & Mary in a pair of crucial Colonial Athletic Association matches.
Delaware will host the Dukes Friday at 7 p.m., while the Blue Hens welcome the Tribe to Newark Saturday at 7 p.m.
After splitting four conference road matches over the last two weekends, the Blue Hens enter Friday’s match with an 11-10 overall record and are tied for fourth place in the conference standings with a 3-4 league mark.
James Madison is 8-12 overall and is tied with Delaware with a 3-4 CAA record, while William & Mary is 7-17 overall and sits in seventh place in the league with a 2-5 CAA mark.
UD sophomore Katie Hillman continues to lead the Blue Hen attack with 278 kills and 3.31 kills per set, which ranks third in the CAA. Senior Katie Hank is second on the team with a 2.56 kills average, while redshirt sophomore Chandler Bryant leads the squad and is ninth in the conference with a .264 attack percentage.
Sophomore Ariel Shonk ranks second in the CAA and 13th in NCAA Division I by averaging 5.44 digs per set, while fellow sophomore Mackenzie Olsen leads the league with 9.75 assists.
The Dukes have dropped two consecutive matches to UNCW and the College of Charleston, since their 3-1 victory over Delaware on Oct. 13 in Harrisonburg. Lizzy Briones paces James Madison with a .284 hitting percentage while adding 2.76 kills per set, with Janey Goodman leading the Dukes with a 3.10 kills average. Briones is also second in the CAA with 1.30 blocks per set, while Kristi Richardson is third in the league at 8.61 assists per set.
William & Mary enters the weekend looking to snap a three-match losing skid, and the Tribe has also dropped five of its last six contests. Liz Brown is leading William & Mary with 3.01 kills per set, good for seventh in the league, while Dessi Koleva paces the squad with 232 total kills. Paige Lucas ranks second in the CAA with 9.07 assists per set, while Paulette Grand Pre is third with a 4.13 digs average.
Delaware, which has won eight consecutive matches over William & Mary, fought off four match points during a thrilling 3-2 victory in Williamsburg on Oct. 11.
Friday’s match features a black t-shirt giveaway to the first 250 fans compliments of the National 5&10 and is also Ladies Night, as all ladies in attendance will be able to purchase $1 tickets to the match. Additionally, raffle tickets will be issued to all females for various items throughout the match.
Saturday’s match will feature the Future Hens Club Halloween Bash, as all FHClub members are invited to attend the spooky Halloween bash prior to the match. Join Blue Hen student-athletes for a night of trick or treating, a costume parade, games, and more haunted excitement. Also, postgame autograph sessions will take place with the entire Delaware volleyball team following both matches this weekend.