Navy Volleyball will travel to Pittsburgh on Friday, November 30th to take on 18th-ranked Michigan in their first trip to the NCAA tournament in program history. The Midshipmen earned their first NCAA playoff berth after defeating the American Eagles for their first Patriot League Tournament Championship last weekend.
The Midshipmen tournament run will require continued stellar play by sophomore outside hitter Maddi Sgattoni who not only earned All-Patriot League First Team honors, but was also named Patriot League Tournament MVP. Joining Sgattoni on the conference’s first team was Patriot League Setter of the Year, Patricia Mattingly. Sgattoni and Meltingly recently joined together for some quality air time with college sports analyst, Andy Katz, to discuss the impressive program turn-around that began under former head coach Larry Bock and continued under the leadership of current head coach Paco Labrador.
From 2-19 and winless in conference play in 2015 to securing its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid, @NavyVolleyball has experienced quite the ascension. @TheAndyKatz gets the inside scoop on the Midshipmen with Maddi Sgattoni and Patricia Mattingly.#NCAAVB pic.twitter.com/nSUYpJuhNG— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) November 21, 2018
The Wolverines will undoubtedly be a challenging opponent for Navy as Michigan stars senior outside hitter Carly Skjodt who earned All-Big Ten and AVCA All-America Third Team honors last season. The Midshipmen share a common 2018 opponent with Michigan in Penn State where both teams lost to the Nittany Lions in three straight sets. The Midshipmen fell to Penn State in August (15-25, 21-25, 11-25) and Michigan struggled at Penn State just two weeks ago losing 12-25, 23-25, 15-25 (they also have a September loss to Penn State 17-25, 21-25, 23-25).
The Midshipmen will continue to look for Sgattoni and Mattingly to guide the Midshipmen through their NCAA tournament run but will also need help from Second Team All-Patriot League senior middle hitter Katie Patrick and senior libero Sydney Shearn.