RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University women's volleyball team has qualified for the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship tournament as the No. 4 seed from the North Division.
Felician (13-17, 8-11 CACC) reaches the CACC playoffs for first time since 2013, and the first occasion in the five-year tenure of head coach John Chang. This evening, the Golden Falcons will travel to northeast Philadelphia to take on South Division and overall No. 1 seed Holy Family University in first-round postseason action at the Campus Center Gymnasium on the Holy Family campus. First service is at 6 p.m.
"I am so excited we made it to the playoffs in my senior year," said Felician outside hitter Paulina Calero (El Centro, Calif./Southwest), one of just two fourth-year veterans on her team's 17-player active roster. "I am ready to give 100 percent and if and when my career ends, have it end with a bang."
Directions to Holy Family University are available at https://www.holyfamily.edu/about-holy-family-u/our-campuses-in-philadelphia/directions-maps (Philadelphia campus). Ticket prices for tonight's match (CASH ONLY) are $8 for adults and $4 for children, students (with ID) and senior citizens. Children age three years and under will be admitted free.
Holy Family will provide a free online Live Statistics feed at https://athletics.holyfamily.edu/sidearmstats/wvball/summary. A live webstream through the CACC Network in partnership with BlueFrame Technology will be offered for a $5 fee at http://www.caccnetwork.com/holyfamily/?bfplayvid=96280.
Felician is making its third CACC tournament appearance and is seeking its first championship. The Golden Falcons have never won a postseason match, falling in the CACC quarterfinals in 2007 and 2013. This season, they are 4-8 in true road matches. Their 13 wins and eight conference victories are school records.
Freshman outside hitter Kahea Aea (Mililani, Hawaii/Kamehameha) is a Third-Team all-CACC selection. She ranks eighth in the league with 3.12 kills per set while also averaging 2.84 digs. High-school teammate and fellow freshman Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha) is ninth in the CACC at 3.51 digs per set, including 5.89 since shifting from setter to full-time libero 10 matches ago. Senior middle blocker Jazlyn Pipkins (Paris, Texas/Paris) has 68 blocks, including 19 in her last three matches, and her 0.87 blocks per set are fifth in the conference.
Holy Family (26-5, 18-1) entered last week listed at No. 5 in the NCAA Division II Committee East Regional Ranking. HFU's 26 victories are a program record, and it has won its last 18 matches. The Tigers, who are 10-1 at home this season, also seek their first CACC title. Conference Player of the Year Chase Wassel (North Wales, Pa./Lansdale Catholic), a senior middle hitter, tops the league in kills (4.86) and aces (0.59) per set. 2018 CACC Rookie and Setter of the Year Morgan Silks (Norristown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) averages a conference-best 11.56 assists and 2.51 digs.
"Holy Family is on top of the conference for a reason – they are a great team with awesome players," Calero said. "We will have to work extra hard to rise to their level. We'll need to communicate well and push each other, with every player giving her all!"
Holy Family won the 2018 regular-season meeting between the schools, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-12), on September 5 in Philadelphia. The Tigers lead the all-time series, 16-1. The Tigers and Golden Falcons are meeting for the first time in the CACC playoffs.
More information about the 2018 CACC Women's Volleyball Championship tournament is available at http://www.caccathletics.org/sports/wvball/2018-19/releases/113Bracket.
Georgian Court University will host the semifinals and finals of the CACC Championship tournament at the GCU Wellness Center in Lakewood, N.J. Tonight's winner will take on the Jefferson Rams-Caldwell University first-round winner on Saturday at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
The 2018 CACC Championship Match is slated for Sunday, November 11, at noon on the Georgian Court campus.