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Rutgers Olympic sports: a mixed bag

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Results were mixed: disappointing, surprising, and not all headed in the right direction

rvc73

Volleyball (4-3)

The title at the Bryant-Hampton Inn-vitational the week before was a great opportunity. But it was already a distant memory as the Knights headed to New Haven and prepared for the Yale Invitational.

A win in the opening match of the Yale Invitational was a good sign for the Knights. Junior outside hitter Meme Fletcher picked up her second double-double of the season to lead the team with 13 kills and 12 digs. Freshman middle blocker Jasmine Stackhouse posted a team-high six blocks, while senior Mikaela Matthews followed with five blocks of her own in the win.

Results changed on Saturday as RU dropped matches to Albany, 3-0 and host Yale, 3-2. Against the Great Danes Rutgers played tough losing by the close margins of 25-19, 26-24, 25-21. Matthews led RU with nine kills followed by senior right side Lauren Cloydwith eight kills of her own. Freshman middle blocker Stackhouse continued as a force up front with a match-high six blocks.

In the finale of the day, Rutgers came back after losing the first two sets with wins in the third and fourth. The Knights were edged by the Bulldogs in the fifth to drop the match by set scores of 13-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17 and 10-15.

Redshirt senior Mikaela Matthews was named to the All Tournament team.

Results and upcoming schedule

Big Ten Volleyball News from opening week

• After opening the season at home, Illinois, Penn State and Purdue all rank among the top 10 in the country in total attendance. Penn State has amassed 10,755 fans thus far to rank second, Purdue has welcomed 5,849 spectators to its arena and ranks fifth while Illinois played in front of 5,349 people through the opening weekend and ranks sixth.

• After sweeping a pair of ranked opponents, Nebraska was the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the latest (week of Aug. 29) AVCA coaches poll. Six other Big Ten programs were ranked in that poll: No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 13 Penn State, No. 17 Illinois and No. 24 Purdue. Michigan and Michigan State are both receiving votes in the poll.

• The Big Ten holds 10 of the top spots on the NCAA’s toughest schedule report: 1-Purdue, 2-Minnesota, 3-Wisconsin, 4-Northwestern, 5-Michigan, 6-Nebraska, 7-Penn State, 8-Michigan State and 10-Illinois.

Men’s Soccer (0-3)

The game at South Carolina was cancelled due to weather conditions; Hurricane Hermine was heading for the east coast and safety concerns weighed heavily in the decision. In a continuation of the early season schedule against ranked teams, Rutgers dropped a 5-0 road contest to No. 19 Charlotte. After starting off the season No. 25, the Knights are unranked and 0-3.

Upcoming schedule

Field Hockey (2-2)

In a very positive sign, Rutgers Field Hockey went into overtime on the road against the No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers. Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, the UVA scored 11 minutes into OT for the 3-2 win. Nikki Santore scored her first goal of the season to tie the game in the 59th minute of regulation.

Continuing their trip in the Old Dominion state, RU topped William & Mary, 2-1 on two goals from senior Sofia Walia.

Results and upcoming schedule

Women’s Lacrosse

Rutgers posted a press release on assistant coach Katie Hertsch:

Rutgers women’s lacrosse assistant coach Katie Hertsch was named to the inaugural United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) All-Star Team, announced Wednesday. Hertsch was drafted by the Philadelphia Force on April 13 and played in all nine games with Philadelphia during the inaugural UWLX season.

Hertsch was hired to the Rutgers coaching staff in 2013 and played for five years with the United States Women’s Lacrosse National Team following a dominant defensive career at Hofstra. Hertsch was a member of the U.S. National Team beginning in 2010 and helped lead the country to a gold medal in the FIL World Cup in Oshawa, Canada in 2013.

And starting their season this week....