For The Tribune-Democrat
WHEELING, W.Va. —
The fifth-seeded Pitt-Johnstown women’s volleyball team will open its first ever berth in the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament against fourth-seeded Shippensburg University beginning today at Wheeling Jesuit University.
The Lady Cats begin play at 5 p.m.
Pitt-Johnstown, which earned an automatic bid into the regionals after winning the PSAC Tournament on Nov. 23, suffered a pair of losses to Shippensburg earlier this season. The Lady Raiders dealt Pitt-Johnstown a 3-sets-to-1 loss in Shippensburg on Oct. 25, before sweeping the season series with a 3-1 victory in the Sports Center on Nov. 16.
The Lady Cats are led by First-Team All-Atlantic Region selections Beth Kendera, a senior middle hitter, and Marissa Erminio, a freshman outside hitter.
Erminio, a First-Team All-PSAC Eastern Division selection and the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 PSAC Tournament, leads the Lady Cats in team kills (486), kills per set (3.68), and points (535.5).
Erminio, a two-time PSAC East Player of the Week choice, currently ranks 45th nationally in kills per set and 63rd in points per set.
Kendera, also a First-Team All-PSAC Eastern Division selection, leads the team in blocks (143) and hitting percentage (.324). Kendera is third on team in points (409) and kills (317). She ranks 44th nationally in blocks per set and 67th in hitting percentage.
Today’s winner will face the winner of top-seeded Wheeling Jesuit/No. 8 Fayetteville State (N.C.) University match at 7:30 p.m. The Atlantic Regional Championship match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Sixty-four teams in eight NCAA Division II regions earned spots in the 2013 Volleyball Championships.
The winner of each regional tournament will advance to the national quarterfinals, semifinals and championship from Dec. 12-14 at U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.