UNION, N.J. – The No. 5 Marymount men's volleyball team takes on No. 4 Kean University on Saturday afternoon in the CVC Championship, both a first for each program. Start time is set for 3 p.m., in Harwood Arena.
Follow The Game
Click here for live stats.
Click here for live video.
How We Got Here
The Saints (22-6) notched their first postseason victory on Friday night, topping Rutgers-Newark in four sets in the CVC semifinals. Marymount took set one in extra points, before the Scarlet Raiders drew the match even with a set two victory. A late push by the Saints in set three pushed a major momentum swing, which translated to a blistering 25-15 set four to seal up the 3-1 victory. Senior TJ Wiechecki and sophomore Sam Safley paced the offense with 18 and 16 kills, respectively, while Wiechecki added three aces. Senior Connor Choate posted a match-high 12 digs, and senior Erich Bratke tossed out a match-high 44 assists.
How They Got Here
The Cougars (32-2) also notched their first postseason victory in the CVC Tournament on Friday night, being new the league this season. They defeated Eastern Mennonite in straight sets, 25-15, 25-17, 25-22. Kean held the Royals to a .035 kill percentage, and posted 40 kills on a .261 for itself. Leading the way was Nick Buseski with a match-high 14 kills on a .464, as eight different Cougars registered a kill in the match. Setter of the Year, Ian Capp, sent out a match-high 32 assists and dove out for a match-high 13 digs.
Last Time We Met
Kean hasn't lost a match since February 3 in Arlington, Virginia. On that date, the Saints took the 3-1 victory on their home court. Marymount dropped the first set in extra points, 28-26, before cruising through the next three sets in this order: 25-17, 25-18, 25-15. No Cougar landed double-figures in kills, while Safley put down 19 on a .586. Wiechecki added 18 on a .467, and junior Eric Wiles dropped 15 on a .357. Bratke commanded the offense with 54 assists and seven digs.
Marymount owns the advantage in the all-time series against Kean, maintaining a 2-1 lead heading into the match. The only time the Saints dropped a match to the Cougars was in the 2015 season, falling in straight sets. Since then, they defeated Kean in 2016 in Harwood Arena in five sets, and again this season in Arlington, 3-1.
Familiarity Of Harwood Arena
In program history, the Saints have played in Harwood five times, four of which have been this season. They have won four of the five showings, including the victory in 2016 over the Cougars, 3-2. This season, they have played there four times, three in the Clash At Kean tournament near the beginning of the season and most recently Friday night against the Scarlet Raiders. In that series of matches, they won three of the four, only falling then-No. 2 Stevens, 3-1, at the Clash at Kean tournament.
The winner of Saturday's championship match will earn the league's automatic bid into the National Tournament set to begin next Friday. The team that falls will await the NCAA Selection Show next week to see if their season continues.