It’s looking like a packed weekend for Villanova Athletics. Starting on Friday night, there is something going on, whether it be a race (in the case of cross country) or a game, every day through Tuesday. Here is what is coming up this week:
The football team hosts its final home game of the season, when it takes on Richmond this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Wildcats currently sit at 5-4 and will need to win each week in order to keep their CAA title aspirations alive. They have been hot as of late, winning three of their last four games. During this four-game stretch, the Wildcats’ defense has been solid, as it has not given up a single touchdown outside of the loss to Towson. On offense, Zach Bednarczyk is finding his niche, improving with each week. He has been great in the last two games, combining for 23-of-39, 259 yards, and two touchdowns through the air. On the ground, he added 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He will face a tough Richmond team that enters Saturday ranked #9 in the STATS FCS Poll.
Home Court Advantage:
Villanova Volleyball will look to bounce back after a rough weekend that included back-to-back losses to Butler and Xavier on the road. The Wildcats return home for a game this Saturday night (after the football game is over) against Seton Hall. The Pirates to the Jake Nevin Field House at 12-15. They broke a three-game losing streak with a win over Butler on Sunday. Villanova must feel confident going into this game, coming back to the comfort of its home court. The Wildcats are phenomenal at home, boasting a 9-0 record when playing at Jake Nevin. After this game against Seton Hall, they will have two more regular season games the following weekend, both of which will be at home.
It’s Finally Here:
The men’s basketball team tips off the regular season against Fairleigh Dickinson this Friday night at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will start the season ranked #11 on the AP Preseason Poll. Fairleigh Dickinson finished last season 8-21. To make matters worse for the Knights, they lost five out of their nine rotation players going into this year. All eyes will be on Jalen Brunson, Villanova’s prized freshman. Brunson achieved numerous accolades in high school before coming to the Main Line, from McDonald’s All-American to MVP of the U-19 FIBA World Championships. As a whole, the Wildcats will look to recreate last year’s success and go even deeper. The first step takes place on Friday. Stay tuned for a more in-depth preview of Fairleigh Dickinson later today.
After beating Bloomsburg 78-51 in an exhibition on Monday night, the women’s basketball team is ready to start the regular season. They will open up the year on the road, as they travel south to Raleigh to play the N.C. State Wolfpack. Last season, N.C. State finished 18-15 and made it to the third round of the WNIT. The Wildcats also found their way to the WNIT last season, losing in overtime of the quarterfinal round. The Coyer twins are back in action after their first season as full-time starters. Caroline Coyer led the way last season with 13.4 points per game. Meanwhile, Katherine Coyer is the second-highest returning scorer from last season, with 7.5 points per game. However, don’t expect it to just be the Coyer show. With the graduation of three of the team’s biggest contributors, expect Jordan Dillard and Megan Quinn to step up. Dillard and Quinn had a great showing at Monday’s preseason game.
Last Stop Before Nationals:
After top three finishes at the Big East Championships, the men’s and women’s cross country teams are ready to take the next step. The men’s team, which finished second, will be led by junior Patrick Tiernan. Tiernan made history on Halloween weekend, winning his third straight individual Big East title. It was the first time the conference had seen an individual three-peat. As for the women’s team, Bella Burda and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner both had strong showings the last time they were out, finishing in the top ten of the Big East Championships. Overall, the team placed third. Friday’s race is a chance for both teams to shake off the bitterness that comes with just missing gold.
Just Keep Swimming:
Both of Villanova’s swimming and diving teams will hit the pool this weekend. The men’s and women’s teams are heading over to nearby Penn for a meet. The women’s team has rolling and currently sit undefeated. The spotlight will be placed on freshman Darby Goodwin, as she tries to replicate last weekend’s success. Goodwin upset Rutgers’ Joanna Wu, an All-American in the 200-back last year, in the Big East/Big Ten Quad Meet. For her winning efforts, Goodwin was named Conference Swimmer of the Week yesterday. The men’s team is still looking for its first win.