There are a number of interesting story lines coming up this week. National Championships, rivalry games, tournaments, and other exciting action!
The men’s cross country team reserved their spot in this weekend’s National Championships. They have been wreaking havoc this past month, finishing first overall in the Big East Championships. Their success continued this past weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals, once again claiming the top spot in a field of 23 different teams. Villanova’s XC team has won the Mid-Atlantic Regional champions in back-to-back years. This weekend’s trip to nationals at Terre Haute, Indiana (Indiana State University), will mark the program’s eight straight appearance at nationals and the 32nd appearance overall. Good luck to the cross country team, bring back the hardware!
Legends Classic Continues:
After a convincing win against Maryland Eastern Shore, the Wildcats improve to 2-0. They will have another cupcake game before heading to Brooklyn for the Legends Classic. The Wildcats play the Bucknell Bison this Thursday night at 8 p.m. Bucknell is currently 1-1 and is looking to bounce back from a loss to Michigan. Jay Wright will have the privilege of coaching against his alma mater. Wright enjoyed his collegiate basketball career with Bucknell, before graduating in 1983 and moving onto his coaching career. After playing Bucknell, the Wildcats will travel to New York on Monday to take on VCU. The Rams are currently ranked #15 and will play Maryland Eastern Shore on Thursday night. VCU will provide the first test for the Wildcats. Villanova needs to win to make their mark and build momentum early on in the season. Lastly, where has Mikal Bridges been? We’ll keep an eye on him, he hasn’t played in the first two games this season.
Battle of the Blue:
This is may be the last time that Villanova and Delaware play each other to end the regular season, at least for awhile. The “Battle of the Blue” has been a longstanding tradition between these two teams. Next year, it appears that the two teams will not meet for a season finale showdown. The Fightin’ Blue Hens are currently 6-5 and recently suffered a beat down by New Hampshire, the best team in the FCS. Last year’s game ended in dramatic fashion. The Wildcats ended any slim chance for Delaware making it to the playoffs. They pieced together a vicious comeback and won 35-34 off of a last second field goal. This year, the tables have turned. Delaware is looking to spoil some playoff fun and bring the rivalry trophy home. Villanova has a playoff spot secured, but a win on Saturday would result in a first-round playoff bye for the Wildcats.
The women’s basketball team hasn’t been so lucky lately. They lost a close, tough game against Chattanooga, the hosts for the tournament. Then, just the other day, they end up losing an even closer game to USF. The Wildcats are looking for that elusive first win of the season. Their opponent will also be looking for its first win. Cal State Fullerton is also 0-2, but unlike the Wildcats they haven’t had the heartbreak to go along with those losses. Villanova lost their first game by four, then the second one by a lone point. Cal State will host the Wildcats. A road trip to the west coast will be tough for the Wildcats, but the Titans are very beatable.
For women’s volleyball, this is looking like the final weekend of the year. Unfortunately, they lost to Marquette in their final home game of the year. Now, they will hit the road, carrying a 13-18 record. First, they will play Creighton this Friday night. The Wildcats will have one day to breathe, before they have to take off for Georgetown for a Sunday afternoon game. Seems like a tough stretch to travel, yet alone play. Shoutout to seniors Allie DiBernardo and Molly O’Neill for wearing the blue and white with pride.
The men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams will participate in a big meet that starts tomorrow. Seven schools are expected to attend the H20kie Fall Festival, hosted by Virginia Tech. Villanova will be joined by Alabama, Liberty, Ohio, South Carolina, William & Mary, and of course, Virginia Tech. The meet is set to last for three days, from Thursday through Saturday. Events will begin at 10 a.m. and final races will take place at 6 p.m. each day. Here’s the lineup:
First Day Events: 200m freestyle relay, 500m freestyle, 200m IM, 50m freestyle, men’s three-meter dive, women’s one-meter dive and the 400m medley relay on Thursday.
Second Day: 200m medley relay, 100m butterfly, 400m IM, 200m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, women’s three-meter dive, men’s one-meter dive and the 800m freestyle relay.
Third Day: 1650m freestyle, 200m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 200m butterfly, women’s platform dive, men’s platform dive, and 400m freestyle relay.