CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University volleyball team hits the road for its quarterfinal match of the 2016 North Atlantic Conference Volleyball Tournament Saturday, Oct. 29, facing the Lyndon State Hornets at Stannard Gymnasium beginning at 2 p.m.
Castleton finished the league schedule with a 3-4 record to receive the fifth seed in this year's conference tournament, the third time in the past four seasons that the Spartans have qualified for the NAC Tournament. Castleton is 4-7 all-time in the NAC Tournament, with all four victories coming on its home floor in the quarterfinals.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 9-12 overall record after back-to-back five-set losses to Lyndon State and Norwich. Wednesday night against the Cadets, the Castleton seniors led the way on Senior Night, as Alex Madsen accumulated a career-high 46 assists, Cassidy Tedeschi became the first Spartan since Jamie Lemieux in 2009 to finish a match with 20 kills, and J'Leen Diaz notched a double-double with 17 kills and 16 digs.
Lyndon State won three of its last four regular season matches to post a 10-9 overall record, guaranteeing the first season with at least a .500 record for the Hornets since they established their volleyball program in 2008.
Kelleigh Murtagh leads the Hornets with 168 kills and 28 total blocks, followed closely by Lauren McDonough with 155 kills and 26 total blocks. McDonough also leads the team with 58 service aces and 239 digs, with setter Gwyneth Stahl right behind her with 52 service aces, 233 digs, and 18 total blocks along with a team-high 409 assists.
Lyndon State won both meetings over Castleton this season, with both of them taking place at Green Mountain College. On Sept. 17, the Hornets defeated the Spartans, 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22), led by Murtagh with 11 kills and 13 digs. Diaz (10 kills, 19 digs) and Kimberly Jackson (10 kills, 13 digs) each notched double-doubles for the Spartans.
Last Saturday in Poultney, Lyndon State won the first two sets, Castleton rallied to take the next two sets, and the Hornets won the fifth set for a 3-2 victory (25-18, 25-13, 22-25, 20-25, 15-12). McDonough led the way for Lyndon State with 17 kills, 15 digs, four solo blocks, and four service aces. Tedeschi led the Spartans with 16 kills, 21 digs, and three solo blocks.
This will be the first time Castleton has played at Lyndon State since Oct. 25, 2014, a 3-2 victory for the Hornets. This will also be the third meeting in the NAC Tournament between Castleton and Lyndon State, with the Spartans winning quarterfinal matchups at Glenbrook Gym on Nov. 2, 2013 (3-2) and Oct. 31, 2009 (3-1).