BALTIMORE—Navy will make its first appearance in the NCAA Volleyball tournament on Nov. 30 with a first-round match against Michigan in Pittsburgh.
The Mids come into the tournament with a 23-9 record. They earned a spot in the NCAAs by winning the Patriot League tournament for the first time and were the league’s regular season co-champions. Overall, this will be the first time Navy have gone to the NCAA tournament while a Division I program since 1991, according to the school.
“It was super exciting to see Navy appear on the television screen,” Team Captain Darby Minton said of the selection show. “I think a lot of us were more anxious than we thought we would be just because we have never been in this position before. The suspense and waiting to see our name was painful. We really had no idea who we would be matched against.”
Michigan has a 22-9 record and finished seventh in the Big Ten this season, going 11-9 there during the regular season.
Navy and Michigan are set for a 4 p.m. match at the Peterson Events Center Friday at Pittsburgh. The winner of this match goes on to meet either Pittsburgh or Iona in the second round.
TERPS FOOTBALL FALLS IN SEASON FINALE
Maryland hoped to rebound from a near-miss against Ohio State with a strong performance at Penn State in the regular season finale on Nov. 24. It did not quite happen.
The Nittany Lions rolled to a 38-3 victory over Maryland in a Big Ten match-up. Maryland couldn’t get much going in the road game and couldn’t get the victory it needed to become bowl-eligible. The Terrapins finished with 259 yards of total offense but the only points it got came from a Joseph Petrino field goal in the first half.
They finished the regular season with a 5-7 overall record and a 3-6 mark in the Big Ten. This was a tumultuous season for the program, especially off the field, but Interim Coach Matt Canada steered the team to the edge of a bowl bid. Now, the question is if he’ll get a shot at the full-time head coaching job. A decision on his future will be made in the coming weeks.
MORE FOOTBALL FRUSTRATION FOR NAVY
The Midshipmen were looking to come up with a two-game winning streak, something that would prove useful heading into the annual match-up with Army, when they went to Tulane on Nov. 24.
Navy had rallied from an 18-point halftime hole to take a seven-point lead late but quarterback Justin McMillan threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaetavian Toles with 1:27 remaining that cut the deficit to one. Then, McMillan threw a two-point conversion to Charles Jones as the Green Wave pulled out a 29-28 victory over Navy.
Navy scored 25 straight points in the second half and took a 28-27 lead. Quarterback Zach Abey threw for a 73-yard touchdown pass and caught a 37-yarder from Malcolm Perry on a gadget play.
The Midshipmen fell to 3-9 overall and 2-6 in the AAC. They have lost 12 straight road games, last winning away from home in September, 2017 versus University of Tulsa.
Navy have one game left this season, the match-up with Army on Dec. 8 in Philadelphia.