Wildcats Fall to Northwestern, 3-1, at Yale Invitational
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In its first of two matches for the day Villanova (4-4) lost a 3-1 decision to Northwestern (7-0) in the Yale Invitational at Lee Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon. The set scores were 25-17, 22-25, 25-15, 25-19 in a match where both teams raced out of the gates with strong hitting.
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter (Lakewood, Colo.) led the Wildcats with a team-high 12 kills to go along with nine digs, while junior outside hitter Carly Edwards (Okemos, Mich.) and freshman middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis (Western Springs, Ill.) added eight kills and two total blocks apiece.
In the opening set Villanova registered 14 kills while committing only four errors but was still outdone by their mascot namesakes, as Northwestern compiled 17 kills with only one error to hit .500 in the set. The only lead for the Wildcats in the first set was on the first point of the match and Northwestern stretched a 10-7 lead into a 17-10 margin en route to a comfortable margin of victory.
Edwards had three of her eight kills in a span of five points at the start of the second set and Villanova eventually went ahead 12-7 and forced a Northwestern timeout midway through the set. The score was later tied at 15-15 and 18-18 but kills by Carpenter and senior middle blocker CeCe Twitty (Scottsdale, Ariz.) gave the Wildcats back the lead each time. Edwards wound up with four kills in the set and Villanova took advantage of nine hitting errors and three service errors by Northwestern to even the match.
The score in the third set was tied at 8-8 and Villanova later trailed just 11-10 after a kill by Edwards but an undefeated Northwestern team scored 14 of the last 19 points in the set to retake control of the match for good. Midway through the fourth set Villanova scored four consecutive points to tie the score at 15-15 but Northwestern once again came up with a big finish and scored 10 of the last 14 points.
Twitty had six kills and two total blocks (one solo) for the Wildcats and freshman setter Emma Pettit (Ft. Collins, Colo.) had 33 assists to go along with five digs and four kills.
On the defensive end Villanova had all it could handle against a Northwestern squad which hit .326 in the match and committed just five combined hitting errors in the final two sets. Freshman defensive specialist Michelle Adams (Sugar Land, Texas) and junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) each had 12 digs.
Later in the day the Wildcats were scheduled to conclude play in the Yale Invitational with a 5 p.m. match against Brown.