RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University women's volleyball team captured the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) North Division regular-season title in 2019 and is the division's No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference championship tournament. In Tuesday's quarterfinals, Felician will face the South Division's No. 4 seed, Wilmington (Del.) University. First service is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Job Gymnasium on Felician's Rutherford campus.
Guided by sixth-year head coach John Chang, Felician (15-17, 13-6) reaches the CACC playoffs for the second consecutive year, a program first. The Golden Falcons are making the fourth conference tournament appearance in the 16-year history of their program (2007, 2013, 2018), and are seeking their first postseason victory. All three prior losses have been on the road.
"It's been a very humbling experience to see how much this program has grown," said setter Charlotte Greek (Menifee, Calif./Murrieta Mesa), one of two fourth-year seniors on Felician's 15-player active roster. "Each player is invested in our team and really wants to see her teammates do well. We're here because we earned it and we're ready to ball out at home!"
Directions to Job Gymnasium are available at https://felicianathletics.com/information/directions (first listing). Ticket prices for Tuesday'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.
FELICIAN STUDENTS will be admitted FREE with proper identification! The first 100 Felician students will also receive a free rally towel. All Felician fans planning to attend are encouraged to wear dark green.
Felician will provide a free online statistics feed at http://www.felicianathletics.com/sports/wvball/2019-20/boxscores/20191119_hbmj.xml. A live webstream through the CACC Network in partnership with BlueFrame Technology will be offered, also free, at https://caccnetwork.com/felician/?bfplayvid=154528.
Felician's 15 wins and 13 conference victories this season are both school records. The Golden Falcons are 7-3 at home. They have been spearheaded by sophomore libero Sierra Gallagher (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kamehameha) and freshman setter Miquela Martinez (Santa Fe, N.M./St. Michael's). Gallagher is the first Felician player to ever record more than 600 digs in a season, and her average of 5.73 digs per set leads the CACC and is 20th nationally in NCAA Division II. Martinez has a Felician-record 927 assists and has guided the Golden Falcons to a potential school record .151 team attack percentage.
On offense, junior middle blocker Katie Asbery (Mililani, Hawaii/Mililani) is tied for third in the CACC with a .298 attack percentage, a potential program record, while putting down 2.06 kills per set. Senior outside hitter Raamiah Edwards (Bloomfield, N.J./Bloomfield) averages a team high 2.55 kills and 2.69 digs per set.
"We've been preparing all season long for a night like Tuesday," Chang said. "We had a goal to get back to the playoffs, now our next goal is to advance as far as we can. We have an amazing opportunity to show the entire conference what we're all about."
Wilmington (20-13, 12-7) seeks its second CACC title. The Wildcats are 8-7 in true road matches. Junior outside Mandy Behiels (Edmonton, Alberta/Jasper Place) has enjoyed a strong all-around season with 2.93 kills, 2.68 digs and 0.53 aces per set, and junior outside Bailey Andrews (Owings Mills, Md./Roland Park) is hitting .256 with 3.05 kills per set. Sophomore setter Sarah Couch's (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) 9.98 digs per set have helped the Wildcats hit .185 on the year. Senior middle Rebecca Rawlinson (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) is among the conference's top five in attacking (.298) and blocking (1.03 per set). The Wildcats lead the league in aces (2.33/set) and blocks (2.09).
"Wilmington's program is one I've looked up to since I took the Felician job," Chang said. "They find and produce strong, physical players and teams and have been very consistent over the years."
Wilmington won the regular-season meeting between the schools, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-12), on November 2 in Newark, Del. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 18-1. The Wildcats and Golden Falcons are meeting in the CACC playoffs for the second time; Wilmington earned a 3-0 quarterfinal triumph in 2013 in Newark.
More information about the 2019 CACC Women's Volleyball Championship tournament is available at https://caccathletics.org/sports/wvball/2019-20/releases/1116Bracket.
Holy Family University will host the semifinals and finals of the CACC Championship tournament at its Campus Center Gymnasium in Philadelphia, Pa. Tonight's winner will take on the Holy Family-Bloomfield College first-round winner on Saturday at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
The 2019 CACC Championship Match is slated for Sunday, November 24, at noon on the Holy Family campus. The CACC champion automatically qualifies for the 2019 NCAA Division II East Regional Championship, to be held on the campus of a regional participant.