Golden Knights Volleyball to host NCAA Regional with some familiar faces
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 7:30 am

Golden Knights to Host NCAA Regional with Some Familiar Faces

Women's Volleyball 11/6/2017 1:54:00 PM November 10, 2017

Golden Knights to Host NCAA Regional with Some Familiar Faces

For the fifth time in seven years, the Clarkson University Volleyball team won't have to travel far for its NCAA Tournament appearance, as Potsdam, NY and Alumni Gymnasium will play host for the NCAA Regionals from Friday, November 10 to Sunday, November 12.

2017 NCAA Division III Volleyball Interactive Bracket

2017 Clarkson University NCAA Notes

The regional will be a reunion of sorts, with both Vassar College and Ithaca College gaining at-large bids, the first time in Liberty League history that three teams will play in the NCAA Tournament, let alone the same regional bracket. Also with a little familiarity is Stevens Institute of Technology, which is guided by former Clarkson assistant coach Annie McShea (2014-15). Joining those four teams are Morrisville State, Babson College, Endicott College, and the Merchant Marine Academy.

The opening match of the Potsdam Regional will pit Ithaca and Endicott at 12:30 pm and that match will be followed by Stevens Institute of Technology against Merchant Marine Academy. At 5:30 pm, Babson will take on Vassar, and Clarkson will host Morrisville State in the 8:00 pm on Friday. Saturday's semifinals will take place at 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm, while the regional championship match is slated for 1:00 pm on Sunday.

Clarkson enters the regional on an 11-match winning streak and its sixth straight conference title, while Morrisville State collected its first NEAC title with a win over Gallaudet on Saturday. The Golden Knights went 4-6 against teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017, beating Vassar twice, Ithaca once, and Saint Benedict once. Morrisville State lost to Kean College, the only NCAA Tournament bound team on its schedule in 2017.

The last three times that Clarkson has hosted an NCAA Regional, the Golden Knights came out victorious, winning in 2012, 2013, and 2015, with an additional regional title in 2014 coming on the road. The Liberty League Tournament's Most Valuable Player, senior Rachael Aird leads the Golden Knights in several categories, including kills per set (3.04) and blocks per set (0.78). An AVCA All-American Honorable Mention in 2016, Aird will be looking to gain her third NCAA Regional title. Sophomores Rachel Reusch and Kate Isaksen have also performed well in their first two seasons with the Knights. Reusch ranks second in the Liberty League in hitting percentage after pacing the conference in her first year, while Isaksen leads not only the conference but the nation in digs per set with 6.72.

Though Morrisville State won its first conference title this past weekend, the Mustangs are playing well on both sides of the ball and have plenty of momentum heading into the tournament. Morrisville State ranks 22nd in the country in opponents' hitting percentage (.106) and is also 55th in hitting percentage on offense (.214). Megyan Merrill is the team's top offensive threat with 3.67 kills per set and a .260 hitting percentage, while Helena Hanes is a dual threat on offense, setting 4.16 assists per set to go along with her 2.39 kills per set. Joining Hanes in setting duties is Kim Dunkleman, who is averaging 5.07 assists per set. Up front, Kirsten Florio leads the team with 0.93 blocks per set, and in the back row Samantha Wolf contributes 5.52 digs per set.