KINGSTON, R.I. - The Rhode Island volleyball team will play its final games of the season this weekend at Keaney Gym. On Friday night, the Rams will host George Washington on Domestic Violence Awareness Night, followed by Saturday's Senior Night match versus George Mason.
The Domestic Violence Awareness game came about through senior co-captain Olivia Budinich's involvement with URI's Bystander Intervention Program. Budinich is one of several Rhode Island student-athletes that are active with the program, which provides education and awareness to the campus community regarding sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, in addition to training active bystanders to prevent these crimes.
"I really wanted to get my team involved because, as student-athletes, we are very visible within our community and among our peers," Budinich said. "I hope that if we are able to create awareness and show that we support this group, then others will follow our lead."
The Rams will play Friday night's game wearing purple laces in solidarity with the cause. Members of the i-STAND team will also be present at the game. Fans in attendance will be encouraged to sign the "It's On Us" pledge, promising to promote domestic violence awareness and bystander intervention.
On Saturday, prior to the start of the match against George Mason, Budinich will be recognized alongside classmates Lauren Pick and Mckenzie Kiesle in a brief Senior Night ceremony. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to show their support for the senior trio.
- The Rams are coming off a 3-0 sweep over Fordham last weekend.
- Rhode Island sits in 10th place in the Atlantic 10 with a 2-10 conference record.
- Rhody is 8-16 on the season overall.
- URI ranks fifth in the conference in blocks per set, averaging 1.90. She is the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Week.
- Individually, junior Jenna McGuire ranks fifth in the conference with 1.02 blocks per set.
- Sophomore Annie Ell is fourth in the A-10 in services aces per set with 0.33.
- Senior Lauren Pick ranks sixth in the league with 8.67 assists per set.
- Senior Olivia Budinich is ninth in the conference with 3.98 digs per set.
- Redshirt sophomore Natale Zanellato leads the team in both kills (246) and kills per set (2.80).
- Freshman Mariah Paulette has a team-best .260 hitting percentage.
Scouting George Washington
- Eighth-place GW enters the weekend with a 3-9 conference record. The Colonials are 9-15 on the season.
- In last weekend's play, George Washington fell to VCU (3-0) and swept Davidson (3-0).
- Bella Bowman ranks fourth in the A-10 with 403 digs. Her 4.38 digs per set put her at sixth.
- Skylar Iott leads the team in total kills (345) and kills per set (3.88).
- Alexis Lete holds a team-best 2.86 hitting percentage and leads the Colonials with 0.76 blocks per set.
Scouting George Mason
- George Mason is on a three-game winning streak and ranks fourth in the A-10 with a 8-4 conference record. The Patriots hold an overall record of 10-12.
- Last weekend, Mason swept both Davidson and first-place VCU, handing the Rams their first A-10 loss of this season.
- Catie Espinoza's 4.63 digs per set are the third-highest in the A-10. She also ranks fifth in total digs (389).
- Peyton Ehmke is fourth in the league with 1.10 blocks per set and has a team-high 90 total blocks this season.
- Emily Konchan ranks fifth in the conference with 9.29 assists per set. She has a team-high 25 service aces, averaging 0.30 per set.