Aug. 28, 2009
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Petkovich (Leesburg, Va.) had a match-high 18 kills and Villanova (1-0) overcame difficulties in the first set en route to a 3-1 win over Youngstown State (0-1) on Friday evening in the first match of the Springfield Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational at Comcast Pavilion. The Wildcats won the match by scores of 18-25, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20.
Petkovich put down 18 kills with just four hitting errors for a .333 percentage in the match and was joined by sophomore middle blocker Maggie Mergen (Springfield, Ill.) and freshman outside hitter Krista Andersen (Lakeland, Fla.) with double-figure kill totals. Mergen registered 11 kills with five aces and Andersen made her collegiate debut with 10 kills.
The match turned on the strength of Villanova's attacking in the second set. After an attack percentage of .000 in the first set (eight kills, eight errors), the Wildcats rebounded and did not commit a single attack error in the second frame. Villanova recorded 12 kills in that second set and pulled away from a 10-10 tie by scoring seven of the next eight points. Petkovich registered six kills and Andersen four in the set, during which senior setter Chelsea Graman (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied 11 of her 39 assists.
The Wildcats carried momentum into the third set and took a 4-0 lead which they eventually stretched to 15-5 before trading points the rest of the set to establish a two sets-to-one lead. A kill by Andersen put Villanova ahead 7-5 and Mergen followed by serving the next eight points in a row, including three consecutive aces to finish off the streak. Petkovich and sophomore middle blocker Maria Nolan (Wexford, Pa.) each had kills during the nine-point run.
In the fourth set, the Wildcats trailed only once when the score was 1-0 and then pulled away from a 2-2 tie to take a 10-3 lead. From there, Villanova led by at least two points the rest of the set and closed out the match victory.
Sophomore defensive specialist Kim Maroon (Virginia Beach, Va.) had 22 digs and three aces. The Wildcats had 11 service aces in the match, compared to just one by Youngstown State.
The Penguins didn't have any players with double figure kills, as Allison Heinz and Ruth Boscaljon had eight kills apiece. Youngstown State hit .294 as a team in the first set but just .044 the rest of the way in the loss.
Villanova continues its opening weekend on Saturday with matches against Stony Brook at 11 a.m. and tournament host Maryland at 7 p.m.