The University of Dayton women’s volleyball team spent this week preparing for the Atlantic 10 tournament that runs today through Sunday, Nov. 18, in Pittsburgh, Pa., at Duquesne University.
The Flyers have an overall record of 23-4 and are 14-0 in the A-10 this season. The team will be the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament after completing its second undefeated conference season in last three years by defeating Xavier University on Saturday, Nov. 10, in four sets in the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
Dayton as the top seed receives a bye into the semi finals of the six-team field. The team’s first match will be on Saturday, Nov. 17, against either the No. 4-seed host Duquesne or No. 5-seed Temple University at 3:30 p.m.
“The first game will be our toughest game,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “The Dukes of Duquesne University have not lost a match while playing at home and Temple University has become the most improved team in the conference from a year ago. Other difficult match-ups will be Butler University and Xavier University because each team has taken away a match win from us. This is by far the most exciting A-10 tournament I have ever seen in my years at UD.”
Senior setter Samantha Selsky said the team is excited for the tournament.
“We were really excited that we are undefeated in the A-10 conference this season,” said Selsky. “We knew we had the talent to do this and we made it our goal in the beginning of the season. After our win against Xavier on Saturday, we knew the tournament was our next goal.”
According to Sheffield, the team has the same practice mentality to continue getting better leading into the tournament.
“The team has been working hard in practice this week as they prepare for the tournament,” Sheffield said. “We want to get strong at the things we are strong at and need to practice slowing down the opponent’s during the game. We have been spending time learning how to defend the plays our opponents like to run.”
In the most recently released American Volleyball Coaches Association poll as of Monday, Nov. 12, Dayton remained ranked at No. 12 overall. The Flyers are the only A-10 team in the Top 25.
Also on Monday, the A-10 announced freshman libero Janna Krafka was named as the A-10 Rookie of the Week. The Centerville, Ohio, native now has two A-10 weekly awards this season, as she was named the conference’s Defensive Play of the Week on Sept. 27. The team now has won a conference weekly award in each of the previous five weeks.
The tournament will begin today with first round play between No. 3-seed Virginia Commonwealth University and No. 6-seed Butler at 4:30 p.m. The winner of that match will meet No. 2-seed Xavier in the second semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. The winners of the semifinals will meet in the championship on the nationally televised CBS Sports Network Sunday at noon.
“Every team entering the tournament starts over with a clean slate,” said Selsky. “All six teams will be battling for that spot in the Championship game on Sunday and we are all in a good spot to win. It could be any of the six teams in the finals.”