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PREVIEW: Men's volleyball set for CVC first-round matchup with Scarlet Raiders

PREVIEW: Men's volleyball set for CVC first-round matchup with Scarlet Raiders

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University men's volleyball team will begin the Continental Volleyball Conference tournament on Thursday as the No. 4 seed, taking on No. 5-seed Rutgers University-Newark. The Saints and Scarlet Raiders will meet at Rockbridge County High School in Lexington, Va., in a 5:30 p.m., match.

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How we got here:

Marymount posted a 7-4 record in conference play to earn the fourth seed. With Rutgers-Newark and Ramapo College each also holding 7-4 CVC records, the Saints earned the tiebreaker for the No. 4 spot. The Saints opened CVC play in strong fashion with four-straight 3-0 victories. In its first six matches in conference play, Marymount went 5-1. The Saints capped their conference schedule with a 3-1 victory over Elizabethtown College on March 30.

How they got here:

The Scarlet Raiders also got off to a hot start in conference action, winning six of their first-seven matches, including a five-match winning streak. However, a 1-3 record over their final four matches set up their position in the CVC tournament. Rutgers-Newark enters the tournament on a positive note, winning its last two matches of the year, including a 3-2 CVC win over Eastern Mennonite University.

Last time we met:

This season, the Scarlet Raiders got the best of the Saints in the teams' only matchup, taking a 3-1 decision on March 2. Rutgers-Newark won the first-two sets, but a 25-15 third set for the Saints cut into the lead. A close fourth set saw the Scarlet Raiders take the win with a 25-22 frame. Senior Eric Wiles (14 kills) and junior Sam Safley (13 kills) led the team in the match.

Series History:

Since Marymount men's volleyball began in the 2014 season, the Saints have posted a 5-5 record against the Scarlet Raiders. History has been on the Saints' side in recent years, holding a 4-1 record over Rutgers-Newark over the past three seasons. In the four wins, Marymount only dropped two sets and won the teams' lone matchup in the CVC tournament.

Among the CVC's best:

The Saints recently had two named to the All-CVC second team in senior Remington Shahan and junior Sam Safley. Safley currently leads the team with 232 kills, which is good for sixth in the conference. He also is second on the team with 24 service aces and 37 total blocks. Shahan is the team leader in blocks, with 41, while ranking second with 151 kills.

What's next?

The winner of Thursday's matchup will move on to the semifinal round on Friday, April 12 and take on No. 1-seeded Southern Virginia University; the match will be set for 4 p.m.