Villanova, Pa. – Tomorrow, November 24, Villanova takes on #17 Creighton in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament. The BIG EAST Tournament presented by Jeep is being held at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marquette, the two seed in the tournament, is the host team. In the first semi-final game, Villanova takes on Creighton at 1:30 ET, followed by the second semi-final game where Butler takes on Marquette at 3:30 ET. Both matches will have a live stream and live stats available.
Villanova finished 18-11 overall and 11-7 in the BIG EAST. They are coming off a 2-0 weekend where they swept both Creighton and Providence to secure the final spot in the conference tournament. Villanova is one of two BIG EAST teams to beat Creighton in the past two seasons. Junior middle blocker Amanda Pedersen-Henry (Murrieta, Calif.) is coming off a stellar offensive weekend that earned her BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week. She averaged four points per set and 3.17 kills per set to go along with a .472 league-best hitting percentage. She tallied 19 kills on the weekend with 12 of those coming in the upset over Creighton. Senior defensive specialist Allison Fitzgerald (St. Louis, Mo.) earned Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 4.83 digs per set over Villanova’s two victories. Her 21 digs against Creighton was a match-high. Senior outside hitter Allie Loitz (Bonita, Calif.) had a double double in the win over the Bluejays with 12 kills and 10 digs. In Villanova’s last BIG EAST Tournament appearance in 2015, they fell to Creighton 3-0 in the conference championship. The Wildcats are 2-9 against the Bluejays all-time.
#17 Creighton Scout
Creighton finished atop the BIG EAST with a 16-2 record in-conference and went 23-6 overall. The three-time reigning conference champions are coming off one of their tougher weekends of the season, losing to Villanova 3-0 and beating Georgetown in a come from behind five-set victory. The Bluejays had five student-athletes on the BIG EAST All-Conference teams, with four First Team members and one Second Team. Senior setter Lydia Dimke, junior outside hitter Jaali Winters, middle blocker/right side Marysa Wilkinson and sophomore libero Brittany Witt were all First Team selections, while junior outside hitter Taryn Kloth was a Second Team selection. Creighton leads the conference in hitting percentage and kills per set while ranking second in opponent hitting percentage, assists per set and digs per set. Dimke is second in the conference with 10.76 assists per set and libero of the year, Witt, is second in the conference with 4.25 digs per set. Their offense comes from Winters who averages 3.45 kills per set, Kloth who averages 3.02 kills per set and Wilkinson who averages 2.88 kills per set. Creighton is looking for their fourth consecutive BIG EAST title.