ARLINGTON, Va. – The Marymount University women's volleyball team is set to play in its second-straight Atlantic East Conference championship match on Saturday, November 9, playing host to Neumann University at the Converse Family Fieldhouse at 2 p.m.
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How we got here:
As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Saints earned a first-round bye and the right to host an Atlantic East semifinal matchup. Marymount hosted No. 4 Marywood University on Thursday, coming out with a 3-1 victory, behind 27 kills from junior Mykael Johnson, which tied a career high. The match was a closely-fought contest, with the teams splitting the first-two sets. The Saints used late runs in the third and fourth sets to capture the victory. Johnson finished with a double-double, including 11 digs, and posted a .340 hitting percentage.
How they got here:
Second-seeded Neumann also hosted a semifinal contest, after earning a first-round bye in the tournament, defeating No. 3 Cabrini University in a three-set sweep. The Knights edged out the Cavaliers, 25-22, in the first set, before handling the final two sets, 25-18 and 25-14. Melanie Malseed led the team with 17 kills, while the team held a .264 hitting percentage for the match.
Last time we met:
Marymount hosted Neumann at the Converse Family Fieldhouse this season on October 16, sweeping the Knights in three sets. The Saints came out hot with .444 and .393 hitting percentages in the first and second sets, respectively. The team used a balanced attack, led by eight kills from junior Myah Cordrey, for the win. Marymount made quick work of the Knights in the first set, 25-12, before taking 25-20 and 25-23 wins to finish out the match.
Atlantic East history:
The Saints currently hold a 3-0 record over the Knights in Atlantic East competition, since the start of the league last season. Marymount has only dropped one set in the three matches. Last season, the teams met in the Atlantic East tournament semifinals, which Marymount won, 3-0. The Saints handled the Knights, 25-14, 25-12, 25-12, as Johnson led the way with 14 kills. Caroline Hanson added 10 kills and 11 digs for the double-double.
Junior Mykael Johnson has been a force for the Saints all season, having earning five Atlantic East Player of the Week awards. She currently leads the conference and the team with 455 kills, which is 61 more than the next closest amount. Johnson also leads the Atlantic East with 519.5 points on the season, averaging 4.81 points per set, which is also first in the league. She also currently sits No. 2 on the team with 44 service aces and No. 3 with 286 digs, on the year.
Going up for seconds:
Marymount is looking for its second-straight Atlantic East championship, after downing Cabrini, 3-1, in the 2018 title match. A win in this year's championship would give the Saints the first-two Atlantic East championships in the conference's history. Last year, the Saints outlasted the Cavaliers, 33-31, in the first set, before taking the second, 25-23. Cabrini extended the match with a 25-23 win in the third, but Marymount closed things out with a 25-18 final frame. Hanson led the team with 20 kills, 24 digs, and four blocks, including the match-sealing rejection.
With a win, the Saints would await the NCAA Division III Selection Show on Monday, November 11 at 12:30 p.m., for a potential Pool 'B' bid into the 2019 NCAA Division III tournament.