Balanced Effort Leads Wildcats to 3-0 Sweep of La Salle in Big Five Opener
Aug. 31, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Senior outside hitter Krista Andersen (Lakeland, Fla.) had a team-high 11 kills and Villanova (3-1) received contributions from every player on the roster in a 3-0 sweep of La Salle (1-4) at the Palestra on Friday afternoon. Three different players had nine or more kills for the Wildcats, who won by scores of 25-22, 25-19 and 25-12 in their first match at the Big Five Tournament this weekend.
Villanova won the last two points of a close first set to take the lead in the match and was nearly unstoppable in the final two sets. In the second and third sets combined the Wildcats committed just five hitting errors while compiling a .323 attack percentage (26 kills-five errors-65 attacks) in that stretch. Along the way to finishing off the sweep Villanova attacked at a .393 (13-2-28) clip in the final set.
Andersen tallied her 11 kills while hitting .320 (11-3-25) for the match while freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter (Lakewood, Colo.) and senior middle blocker CeCe Twitty (Scottsdale, Ariz.) chipped in nine kills apiece. Twitty led the Wildcats with five blocks and Villanova finished the match with 9.0 total blocks as a team.
Sophomore setter Allie DiBernardo (Coto de Caza, Calif.) and freshman Emma Pettit (Ft. Collins, Colo.) teamed up to run the offense and combined for 35 assists. DiBernardo had 21 assists and Pettit distributed 14 in the winning effort.
In addition to the strong offensive effort the Wildcats played terrific defense throughout the entire match. Junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) led all players with 23 digs and Villanova had six different players come up with five or more digs. DiBernardo had nine digs and Carpenter seven.
Early in the match the Explorers scored the first three points and eventually led 7-3 in the first set before the Wildcats got themselves going. Three straight kills by Andersen and freshman middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis (Western Springs, Ill.) gave Villanova a 9-8 lead and La Salle never regained a scoring advantage during the remainder of the set. Andersen had a kill to give the Wildcats an 18-17 lead later in the opening set and Villanova maintained its lead until another kill by Andersen ended the set with a 25-22 score.
There were three lead changes in the first nine points of the second set but a kill by junior outside hitter Carly Edwards (Okemos, Mich.) gave the Wildcats a 6-5 lead and began a run of six consecutive points. Edwards and Carpenter had two kills apiece during the run, which ended with Villanova leading 11-5.
In the third set the Wildcats overcame an early 2-1 deficit with six straight points to take a 7-2 lead and later closed out the match by winning 10 of the final 12 points. Sophomore defensive specialist Ally Moskitis (Long Beach, Calif.) had consecutive aces in the early 6-0 run and Villanova was never challenged in the set.
Tomorrow afternoon the Wildcats return to action against Temple at 1 p.m. and then take on tournament host Penn at 7 p.m. in the final match of the weekend.
NOTES: Villanova is 8-2 all-time in the Big Five Tournament, including seven consecutive wins in the tournament in the last three seasons ... Each of the 15 players that saw time on the court for the Wildcats in the game had at least one dig, kill or block ... Villanova leads the series with La Salle by a 33-4 margin.