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PREVIEW: Saints prepared for CVC semifinal showdown with Southern Virginia

PREVIEW: Saints prepared for CVC semifinal showdown with Southern Virginia

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University men's volleyball team used a 3-1 Continental Volleyball Conference tournament first-round victory to advance to the semifinal round and now look to a matchup with Southern Virginia University on Friday, April 12 at 4 p.m.

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How we got here:

The No. 4-seeded Saints took down No. 5-seeded Rutgers University-Newark in a first-round contest, 3-1. The teams split the first two sets, each winning one by the score of 25-22, before the Saints took the final two, 25-21 and 25-18. Junior Sam Safley led the Saints with 13 kills and three service aces, and senior Remington Shahan added seven kills and a team-high three blocks.

How they got here:

Southern Virginia earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a perfect, 11-0, record in CVC play during the regular season. The Knights finished with a 21-3 overall record, good for the No. 8 spot in the country. A, 3-2, victory over Kean University on March 30 solidified the top seed for Southern Virginia and earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Last time we met:

Earlier this season, on February 26, the Saints and Knights met in Buena Vista, Va., in a 3-0 victory for Southern Virginia. The Saints took the Knights to extra points in the first and third sets, keeping the match tight, led by nine kills, each, from seniors Remington Shahan and James Knight.

Series history:

Southern Virginia holds an all-time, 3-1, lead in the series history. The Saints came away with a 3-2 victory last season on March 24, 2018. Junior Sam Safley put down a then-career-high 22 kills and a team-high three service aces to lead the team. After dropping the first set, 25-21, the Saints won the second and third, 25-19 and 25-21, respectively. The Knights forced a fifth set, during which the Saints found themselves down 14-13, but responded with a 5-2 run to take the win in extra points, 18-16.

CVC tournament regulars:

The Saints have advanced to the CVC semifinals in each of the past five seasons, while breaking through to the CVC championship game last season. In the 2018 conference tournament, Marymount took a 3-1 semifinal win over Rutgers University-Newark behind 18 kills from TJ Wiechecki and 16 kills from Sam Safley to advance to the championship match.

Whats next?

The winner of Friday's matchup with move on to the CVC championship match on Saturday, April 13 at Rockbridge County High School against the winner of the other semifinal match between No. 2 Kean University and No. 3 Juniata College. The championship match is set for 4 p.m.