Nov. 16, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - For the second consecutive year the Villanova volleyball team has advanced to the BIG EAST Volleyball Championship. The Wildcats have a 17-12 record and finished the conference regular season 8-6.
This year's championship will be played at the Al McGuire Center hosted by Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. The event is a single elimination tournament with four quarterfinal matches scheduled for Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and the championship on Sunday.
Villanova will open the tournament on Friday, Nov. 18 at 4:30 ET with a re-match against No. 2 seed Cincinnati. The Wildcats closed out the conference regular season against the Bearcats and fell 3-2 in a match that was played at Villanova.
"We are excited for the opportunity to play in the BIG EAST Tournament," head coach Josh Steinbach said. "It is a challenge to get and we are excited to be a team that gets to continue the season. This team has shown the ability to play with anyone and we played a close match with Cincinnati on Sunday. We are hoping to play well enough to be in another close match with them on Friday."
Junior Morgan Petkovich leads the Villanova offense with 3.18 kills per set. She also averaged 2.62 digs each contest. Senior Maggie Mergen has tallied 312 kills for 2.89 per outing and is hitting .237.
Senior libero Kim Maroon had a stellar senior season. She set a new BIG EAST single season record with 734 total digs and leads the NCAA with 6.92 per set.
Freshman Allie DiBernardo stepped in as setter in her freshman season and gave out 899 assists for 9.88 per set.
As a squad, Villanova leads the BIG EAST in digs with 17.77 and rank second in service aces with 1.65.
Cincinnati enters the tournament on a nine-game winning streak. The Bearcats leads the league with 13.39 kills per set. Senior Missy Harpenau and junior Jordanne Scott rank sixth and seventh, respectively in kills per set with 3.50 and 3.45.
In the regular season meeting, Petkovich connected for 14 kills, while Mergen notched 10. Maroon collected a match-high 40 digs. For the Bearcats, Scott tallied 24 kills, while Harpenau had 17 kills and 15 digs.
The BIG EAST will be livestreaming all quarterfinal and semifinal matches. The links can be found at the top of this page. The championship match will be live on ESPNU at 4:00 p.m.