Aug. 27, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite some tough defense, the Villanova volleyball team (1-2) could not outlast Ohio as it fell 3-2 (24-26, 25-17, 25-19, 19-25, 10-15) in the Comcast Lady Vols Classic at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Junior Morgan Petkovich and freshman Allie DiBernardo recorded double-doubles in the match. Petkovich connected on 14 kills and had 18 digs, while DiBernardo dished out a match-high 47 assists and collected 24 digs.
Three other Wildcats posted double figure kills as junior Krista Andersen paved the way with 16 kills, senior Maggie Mergen tallied 11 and sophomore Allison Williams netted 10 kills. Mergen added four total blocks.
Villanova combined for 118 digs in the match, while Ohio notched 108 as a team. Senior Kim Maroon posted a match-high 32 digs to go along with DiBernardo's 24 and Petkovich's 18. Sophomore Mariah Henley collected 17 digs, while senior Kara Chatham posted 11.
"We played really hard and I feel good about effort level tonight," heach coach Josh Steinbach said. "We had some breakdowns in execution that cost us. It was really losing our lead in the first set that lost the match for us. We should have closed it out and held on to the lead we had built. Ohio is a really good team and put up good blocking numbers. They also were able to make adjustments as the match went on. Overall ZI think we played well over the weekend though."
Petkovich smashed a kill to give the `Cats an 10-9 lead in the first set and five errors from the Bobcats put Villanova in front, 16-12 as Ohio called timeout. After another kill from Petkovich, Villanova led 20-16, but the Bobcats used a 5-2 run to pull within one point, which forced the Wildcats to use a timeout. After an error the set was tied at 23 apiece before Ohio played for set point 24-23. Mergen found the floor for a kill to tie at 24, but the Bobcats took the first set, 26-24.
Henley served three consecutive points in the second frame an Ohio burned its first timeout trailing 18-11. Andersen and Mergen connected on kills to extend the lead to 22-13 and a kill from Williams gave Villanova a 25-17 victory.
Henley served an ace and Mergen found the floor for a kill to extend the Wildcats' lead in the third stanza, 16-11 and scored two more points following a timeout from Ohio. DiBernardo notched a kill to push in front 20-13, but the Bobcats scored five unanswered points. Williams and Petkovich hit back-to-back kills forcing Ohio to use its final timeout trailing 22-19 and Villanova closed out the set after an Ohio error.
After Ohio won the fourth set 25-19, Mergen notched two kills and Andersen hit one to jump to a 3-1 lead in the fifth and final set. The Bobcats responded quick and led 10-6 as the Wildcats called their first timeout. Petkovich and junior CeCe Twitty recorded back-to-back kills, but the Bobcats still led 11-8. They scored three unanswered before Andersen netted a kills, but Ohio claimed a final point to win the match.
Maroon was named to the all-tournament squad after a stellar weekend where she totaled 6.50 digs per set.
"Kim had a good weekend," Steinbach said. "She played well defensively all tournament and it showed with her averaging 6.50 digs for the weekend. 118 total digs as a team says something about us and how hard we fight. Overall we're looking forward to getting back and preparing for next weekend with La Salle, Temple and Penn."
Villanova will compete in the Big 5 Tournament beginning Friday, Sept. 2 at The Palestra on Penn's campus. The Wildcats will take on La Salle on Friday at 4:00 p.m.