- Inside Athletics
DETROIT, Mich. -- After a 19-15 regular season and a 2-9 mark in the WHAC, the 10th-seeded Mustangs will open postseason action when they make the short trip to play the conference's seventh seed, Lourdes University. The first round WHAC tilt will feature a rematch of a five-set thriller between the teams on Oct. 9. Lourdes won the match, 3-2, held in Detroit.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Wednesday's (Nov. 13) first round playoff match will be played at Tam-o-Shanter in Sylvania, Ohio. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Lourdes owns a 2-0 advantage over the Mustangs when playing at Tam-o-Shanter.
HOW THEY'VE FARED
The Mustangs enter Wednesday's (Nov. 13) WHAC playoff match coming off a tough five-set loss to nearby foe, Lawrence Tech. Despite losing to Lawrence Tech, the Mustangs have won four of their last six matches heading into postseason play. Lourdes enters Wednesday's match winners of their last three outings.
BUCKING THE TREND
The Mustangs are 0-9 all-time versus Lourdes. This year's five-set heartbreaker was the only time the Mustangs have been able to take Lourdes to the deciding set. In the Oct. 9 meeting at Detroit Jesuit, senior middle Amelia Velez (Imlay City, Mich./Prairie View A&M) had a match-high 16 kills, while Kara Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft College) tallied 34 digs. Nicole Kempinski set up the attack with 37 assists to go along with 25 digs. The Mustangs will look to take things one step further as the aim to top Lourdes for the first time Wednesday night. The win would be the first WHAC playoff victory for the Mustangs in program history (lost only other appearance to UNOH, 2012).
KEYS TO THE MATCHUP
The balance provided by senior leadership will be key if the Mustangs wish to pull out the road playoff victory in Sylvania. Katharina Hall (Livonia, Mich.), Sarah Suppelsa (Livonia, Mich./Concordia-Ann Arbor), and Amelia Velez all posted at least six kills against Lourdes in their previous matchup. Of the three seniors, Hall posted a well-rounded line with 15 digs and three block assists in the near triumph over Lourdes earlier this season. As a team, the Mustangs owned a hitting percentage of .112 in the first meeting. The team will look to improve that number and capitalize on their attacks to move on to Livonia this weekend. The presence of Kiara Cobbs (Detroit, Mich./King), the Mustangs' blocks leader, will be key as Lourdes posted 200-plus attack attempts on Oct. 9.
COMING TO YOU LIVE
Jeremy Otto will travel with the team to cover the match with live audio on the Mustang Sports Network. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. with the pregame show.
HOW IT ALL SHAKES OUT
The winner of Wednesday's 7/10 matchup will move on to play at 4:45 p.m. Friday (Nov. 15) against the WHAC's No. 2 seed, Davenport University. The match, along with the rest of the conference volleyball playoffs, will be held on the campus of Madonna University.
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