MILWAUKEE, Wis. – No. 2 seed Cincinnati (23-8, 12-2 BIG EAST) defeated No. 7 seed Villanova (17-13, 7-7 BIG EAST) 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-16) in the third quarterfinal match of the BIG EAST Volleyball Championship on Friday at the Al McGuire Center. Cincinnati notched its tenth-consecutive victory and advanced to its third-straight semifinal round of the BIG EAST Championship. Villanova falls to Cincinnati for the second time in the past week, having dropped a five-set match on Nov. 13.
Senior Missy Harpenau and junior Jordanne Scott, All-BIG EAST First Team honorees led the Bearcats in dominating fashion. Harpenau posted 11 kills while Scott added 12 of her own. Freshman setter Caylin Mahoney dished out 30 assists as Cincinnati hit a blazing .449 for the match. BIG EAST Libero of the Year Kim Maroon had 15 kills for the Wildcats in her final BIG EAST Championship match.
Cincinnati captured the first set 25-11 behind Scott’s five kills. The Bearcats jumped out to a 10-2 lead and never looked back. Missy Harpenau added 2 kills and 8 digs. The Bearcats hit at a .375 clip and held Villanova to a -.125 hitting percentage in the first set.
The Bearcats won the second set 25-14 while hitting at a .457 clip. Mahoney posted 13 assists while Scott had 5 kills and Harpenau added four of her own. Cincinnati held a 6-5 lead early in the set before scoring 10 of the next 14 points to increase the lead to 16-9. The Bearcat defense remained strong holding Villanova to a .143 hitting percentage.
Cincinnati took the final set 25-16 with Harpenau posting five kills and four digs. Junior Megan Turner totaled four kills to help the Bearcats to their 10-straight victory.
Cincinnati plays the winner of No. 3 seed Marquette and No. 6 seed Seton Hall at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT Saturday in the second of two semifinal matches. The Golden Eagles and Pirates play the 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT quarterfinal match.
Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 18
Match 1: No. 5 Notre Dame 3, No. 4 Syracuse 1 (27-25,25-17,21-25,25-19)
Match 2: No. 1 Louisville 3, No. 8 Pittsburgh 1 (25-13,25-20,24-26,25-20)
Match 3: No. 2 Cincinnati 3, No. 7 Villanova 0 (25-11,25-14,25-16)
Match 4: No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 6 Seton Hall, 7 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. CT
Semifinals, Saturday, Nov. 19
Match 5: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 5 Notre Dame, 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT
Match 6: No. 3/No. 6 vs. No. 2 Cincinnati, 4:30 p.m. ET/ 3:30 p.m. CT
Championship, Sunday, Nov. 20
Match 7: Semifinal winners, 4:00 p.m. ET/ 3:00 p.m. CT (LIVE – ESPNU)