Atlantic 10 Volleyball Champion Duquesne will open play tonight in the NCAA Tournament at No. 15 Kentucky. The Dukes will be looking to capture the A-10's second-straight NCAA First Round win. Last season Dayton defeated Pepperdine in a five-set thriller.
Tonight's match, which is being played in Kentuckly's historic Memorial Coliseum, begins at 7:30 pm.
HOW THEY ARRIVED
- Duquesne (20-9) received the automatic bid after winning the Atlantic 10 Championship
- Kentucky (21-8) received an at-large bid after making an appearance in the SEC Championship match
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Duquesne is experiencing a season of firsts. The Dukes finished with a program-record 12 Atlantic 10 Conference victories. The won their first-ever A-10 regular season title and after defeating Dayton and VCU in the league's championship tournament, Duquesne was crowned A-10 Champions for the first time. This is their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship.
LAST TIME AGAINST KENTUCKY
In the first match of the 2012 Ameritas Players Challenge, #19 Kentucky hit .413 and had three players record double-figure kills as the #19 Wildcats defeated the Duquesne volleyball team 3-0 on Sept. 6, 2013. The set scores were 25-14, 25-13, 25-18 as UK handed the Dukes just its second loss of the season (8-2). Kentucky middle blockers Alexandra Morgan and Sara Schwarzwalder combined for 20 kills and hit .833 and .769 respectively. The Dukes were led by Arielle Love and Marah Farage who tallied six kills each. Mary Henry had 19 assists and Patti Abshire had a team-high eight digs.
A-10 COACH OF THE YEAR
Opperman, who led the Dukes to its first-ever regular season title, was named A-10 Coach of the Year on Nov. 21st. Duquesne's 12 wins set a new program record for conference victories and their A-10 Championship was also a program first. Additionally, Duquesne had a program-best eight match winning streak that spanned from Oct. 4th to Nov. 1st. Opperman was named Co-Coach of the Year in 2010, 2004 and 2001.
A-10 SETTER OF THE YEAR
Mary Henry was named Setter of the Year on Nov. 21st. She has 1,099 assists (10.18 per match). Her passing helped the Dukes lead the A-10 in hitting percentage at .232. This is the second consecutive season Henry has topped the 1,000 assist mark. In just two seasons, Henry ranks 5th all-time in program history with 2,279 assists.
A-10 ALL-CONFERENCE WINNERS
A program-best six Duquesne players were named to the 2013 All-Conference teams.
- Allison Foschia - First-Team All-Conference
- Allison Foschia - Academic All-Conference
- Mary Henry - First-Team All-Conference
- Arielle Love - First-Team All-Conference
- Marah Farage - Second-Team All-Conference
- Lacey Levers - All-Rookie Team
- Madelynn Burnham - All-Rookie Team
A-10 WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
Arielle Love Offensive Player of the Week 11/18/13 Lacey Levers Rookie of the Week 10/21/13 Taylor Lockett Co-Defensive Player of the Week 10/14/13 Allison Foschia Defensive Player of the Week 09/09/13