The University of Delaware volleyball team closed out the regular season on a three-match winning streak, securing the third seed in this week’s CAA Tournament, after being projected to finish in fourth in the CAA Preseason Poll. First-year head coach Kimberly Lambert will lead the Blue Hens down I-95 to Towson University for Thursday’s quarterfinal duel against sixth-seeded Charleston (14-15). Opening serve is slated for 7 p.m. inside SECU Arena.
The 2022 CAA Volleyball Championship, presented by Primis, will run from Thursday, Nov. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 19 inside Towson’s SECU Arena. The winner of the tournament will earn the automatic bid into the 2022 NCAA Volleyball Division I Tournament.
The eight-team tournament field begins with top-seeded and three-time defending champions Towson face eighth-seeded Stony Brook at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Following the opening match will be fourth-seeded Northeastern against fifth-seeded Elon at 1:30 p.m., and second-seeded Hofstra taking on seventh-seeded William & Mary at 4:30 p.m. The Blue Hens and the Cougars will conclude the quarterfinals day at 7 p.m. The four winners from the quarterfinals will advance to the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 18, while the Championship match is slated for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.
On the quest to capture its fifth CAA Championship last season, Delaware fell short to the host Towson in the semifinal-round. The Blue Hens will be seeking its 12th conference semifinal berth since entering the league in 2001. The Blue & Gold won back-to-back titles in 2007-08 and again 2010-11. Overall, Delaware is 16-11 all-time in CAA tournament games.
Delaware and Charleston will be meeting for the third time this fall, as the Blue Hens swept the two-match regular-season series in Charleston, S.C. Thursday’s match will be the 23rd all-time meeting, with the Cougars holding a 14-8 record over the Blue Hens. The highlight of the Blue Hen/Cougar matchup was on Oct. 2 where Lani Mason’s career-bests 38-kill and 24-dig performance fueled Delaware’s comeback five-set win. The second game of th series on Oct. 3 was a straight-set outing that extending the Blue Hens’ season-best winning streak to nine matches.
Currently, Delaware is on a three-match winning streak and finished the regular season posting a 15-10 record and a 10-6 mark in conference play to earn a spot in the conference’s first-ever eight team tournament. The Blue Hens will look to the leadership of Mason, Ezgi Basaranlar, Savannah Seemans, Kirah Johnson and Eileen Gex during this postseason run. Mason, who was named the CAA Player of the Year and landed on the first team this morning, leads the team with 490 kills (5.10 k/per set) for 536 points (5.58 pts/per set).
Basaranlar added her third-career postseason award to her resume being named All-CAA second-team selection for the second-straight season. Basaranlar leads the team with 714 assists (9.78 a/per set) while Lily Rogers takes up some of the workload with 301 assists (4.07 a/per set). Mason’s right hand woman on the offensive end is Seemans, as the Newark, Del. native totaled 194 kills (2.02 k/per set) and leads the way with 35 services aces (.36 sa/per set). Anchoring Delaware’s defense is Gex, as she scooped up a team-leading 375 digs (3.91 dig/per set) and Seemans and Mason are supporting her in the back row with 344 digs (3.58 dig/per set) and 263 digs (2.74 dig/per set), respectively. Standing tall for the Blue & Gold is the blocking duo of Johnson’s 93 blocks (.99 blk/per set) and Pearce Augier’s 55 blocks (.62 blk/per set).
Live Statistics of Delaware/Charleston matchup can be found here and all seven matches of the championship will be carried on FloSports Volleyball Logo (click on the image or click here)
CAA Full Tournament page can be found here. Delaware match notes can be found here (PDF).
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