Tonight’s contest against the New York University Violets will be uncharted waters for Polytechnic Institute of NYU’s women's volleyball team. Not only will it be the first time women’s volleyball will compete in an NCAA playoff bid, but it will be the first time any NYU-Poly sports team will compete in an NCAA tournament.
The Fighting Blue Jays clinched their spot in the tournament on Saturday, November 7 when they won the Skyline Conference Championship, another first for the Jays.
"Winning the conference championship is a huge step forward for our program, which is on the rise,” said second-year head coach, Marc Solondz. “Now our goal is to prove we deserve to be playing in the NCAA tournament."
The Jays finished an impressive regular season as they swept conference play with an 11-0 mark and ended up 25-9 overall. The Jays received the automatic bid thanks to a remarkable come-from-behind win over Sage Colleges in the Skyline Championships. Down 12-9 and then 14-11 in the fifth set tiebreaker, the Jays came back to win 17-15. Ironically, the Violets and Jays kicked off the season playing each other in the NYU Tournament in September. NYU won 3-0 (25-7, 25-13, 25-16).
Tonight’s game will be a return to the NCAA tournament for the Violets who last played in 2006 when they advanced to the second round. This is the sixth time Violets’ head coach Ed Caesar has lead the team to the NCAA championships during his eight seasons as head coach.
The Jays are led by Skyline Conference MVP Victoria Kalvert (Missouri City, TX / Elkins HS) and Tournament MVP Meredith Shipman (Sugarland, TX / Elkins HS), as well as Rookie of the Year Corey Loupee (Crown Point, IN / Boone Grove HS).
Three other first-round matches will be held on Thursday. Salisbury University (30-4) faces City College of New York (24-12) at 1:00 pm, SUNY New Paltz (32-5) meets Roger Williams University (21-10) at 3:30 pm, and Christopher Newport University (24-12) will play Stevens Institute of Technology (26-9) at 6:00 pm. First-day winners will play again on Friday, with semifinals being held at 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm. The two surviving teams will compete for the New York Region title on Saturday at 8:00 pm. The winner of that championship match will advance to the Elite Eight in Cleveland, OH, November 18-20.
You can give the Jays your pre-game support at the Team Rally and Send Off at 6:00 p.m. in the parking lot across from the Othmer Residence Hall on the Brooklyn campus. See additional game details here.