Star of the Week: Freshman named MVP of Villanova Classic

Kaitlin Santanna

Last weekend’s Villanova Classic tournament not only welcomed the women’s volleyball team home in style, but it solidified the fact that the squad will have a successful season with the strong play of several young Wildcats. One such young, standout player was freshman Kim Maroon. Maroon continued her strong play in the Classic and was named Most Valuable Player. Additionally, Maroon’s stellar play has led her to be named The Villanovan’s Star of the Week.

Maroon was added to the team last June and immediately impressed the coaching staff. She showed her defensive skills early and earned herself a starting position on the team as an outside hitter and defensive specialist.

“Kim is one of the most competitive people that I have met,” Head Coach Josh Steinbach said in June. “She will compete for a starting libero position immediately. She comes from playing at a high level of volleyball with the Coastal Virginia club. We are looking forward to having a great club player on our team.”

The Wildcats did not let their opponents even take one game last weekend, sweeping all three games at the Villanova Classic by a score of 3-0. Maroon’s defensive presence certainly played a large part in these shutouts. In ‘Nova’s opening game versus Bucknell on Sept. 19, the 5-foot-8-inch freshman led the team defensively with 16 digs. Maroon went on to improve on her performance the next day against La Salle, posting a career-high performance with 19 digs in the three-set victory over the Explorers. Along with leading the team in digs, Maroon and the defensive core held La Salle to a .107 attack percentage as a team.

Maroon solidified her MVP honor in the final game of the Classic against Penn on Sept. 20. She improved her personal best in digs from earlier that day, posting 21 in the match. Maroon totaled 56 digs on the weekend, averaging 6.22 per set.

Maroon’s early success at Villanova does not come as a surprise to anyone who knew her in high school. At Frank W. Cox High School, Maroon was a four-year letterwinner in basketball as well as volleyball. The Virginia Beach, Va., native received many accolades playing volleyball in high school. Maroon was named Tidewater, Region and District Player of the Year in 2008. She was also her district’s Co-Player of the Year in 2007 and was named to the First-Team All-State team in 2007 and 2008. Maroon was also a two-time First-Team All-Region and All-District player as well.

The fact that Maroon was named not only the team’s but the tournament’s MVP after only half a season of collegiate play bodes well for the future of the volleyball team’s defense. The Wildcats enter the toughest part of their season this weekend when conference play opens Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh. If Maroon carries over her outstanding play from last weekend into the rest of the season, however, Villanova’s defense has the capability to be one of the best in the Big East Conference.