Sept. 14, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - In its first match at the ASU Sheraton Invitational this weekend Villanova (5-5) was swept in three sets by host Arizona State (8-2) at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday afternoon. The set scores were 25-9, 25-9 and 25-22 as the Sun Devils posted a win in their home opener. Junior outside hitter Carly Edwards (Okemos, Mich.) and freshman middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis (Western Springs, Ill.) each had strong matches for the Wildcats in the loss.
Edwards had a team-high seven kills without any errors and led Villanova with a .350 hitting percentage for the match. She added four block assists and formed a dangerous combination with Pethokoukis, who had a season-high seven block assists as well as a pair of kills. As a team the Wildcats tallied 8.0 total blocks, one more than their Arizona State hosts.
In the first set the Sun Devils raced out to a 9-1 lead and never looked back along the way to opening the match with a 25-9 victory. Villanova had just three kills in the set while committing 10 errors before settling in the rest of the way; the Wildcats registered only nine errors total in the final two sets.
The score of the second set was tied 5-5 after a block by Pethokoukis and Edwards but Arizona State then scored the next 12 consecutive points to go ahead 17-5 and seal the outcome of the set. There were four ties and three lead changes in the set before the Sun Devils took control with the 12 straight points.
Villanova started to find its footing in the third set and nailed down 11 kills with only four errors for the set. Edwards had five kills and a pair of block assists in the set and freshman setter Emma Pettit (Ft. Collins, Colo.) distributed eight of her 13 assists.
Early in the set the Sun Devils held a 9-7 lead and midway through the frame the Wildcats scored four straight points to cut a 15-8 deficit to a three-point margin. Villanova got as close as one point at 21-20 before Arizona State finished off the match.
Junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) led the Wildcats defense with 16 digs.
Still to come on Friday night for Villanova is an 8 p.m. (Eastern time) match against Gonzaga, which defeated Florida Atlantic in five sets earlier today.