Villanova got off to a hot start with the women's basketball team this year, with head coach Harry Perretta reaching the 600-win plateau and coaching his 1,000th game on the Main Line. The conference season came around, however, and the Wildcats didn't hold up, going 6-10 in conference play and finishing in 10th-place. The Big East sent eight women's teams to the NCAA tournament and the Wildcats were not among them.
Unlike the men, however, their season will go on with an invitation to the WNIT, where they will host American University at the Pavilion on Thursday. It will be their 10th postseason berth in the last 13 seasons, 6th trip to the WNIT and the first since 2008.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to play in the postseason," said Wildcat head coach Harry Perretta. "This team has shown great improvement from last season and I am happy that they will get a chance to play in a national postseason tournament. This is a nice accomplishment for our basketball team."
The Eagles were a perfect 14-0 in Patriot League play, winning the regular-season title, but lost to fifth-seeded Holy Cross in the conference semifinals. It will be their fourth trip to the WNIT in the last five years.
The Lehigh run was impressive in Patriot League circles. Senior Lisa Strack was named conference Player of the Year, Ebony Edwards was honored as Defensive Player of the Year and Matt Corkery took home the conference's Coach of the Year honors.
Villanova has been led this season by junior forward Laura Sweeney who was named second team All-Big East. She holds the team lead in 5 statistical categories; scoring (14.6 ppg.), rebounding (7.8 rpg.), field goal percentage (.502), steals (52) and blocks (37).
The winner of the game will advance to the second round to meet the winner of the Central Michigan/Illinois State game with the site of the game being at the higher-seeded team.