Sept. 15, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Villanova (5-7) was defeated by a 3-1 final by Florida Atlantic (3-5) inside Wells Fargo Arena at the ASU Sheraton Invitational on Saturday morning in a match that featured three very close sets before the Owls took control for good in the fourth set. Florida Atlantic won the match by scores of 25-22, 23-25, 25-23 and 25-16 to deal the Wildcats their third straight loss in this weekend's tournament.
Freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter (Lakewood, Colo.) tallied her second straight double-double and fifth of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs for Villanova, while freshman middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis (Western Springs, Ill.) recorded 10 kills with only three errors for a .350 attack percentage.
The match was up for grabs most of the way but the momentum turned in the Owls favor late in the third set. With the match tied 1-1 and the Wildcats up 20-18 in the third set Florida Atlantic called timeout and then proceeded to reel off five straight points to take a 23-20 lead. Five points later the Owls won the set (25-23) to go ahead 2-1 in the match.
Villanova led 10-7 in the fourth set when Florida Atlantic raced away on a 12-1 run which put the Wildcats in too big a hole to overcome. The run ended with the Owls holding a 19-11 lead in the set and they eventually settled on a nine-point margin of victory to clinch the match.
Junior outside hitter Carly Edwards (Okemos, Mich.) chipped in nine kills for Villanova and senior middle blocker CeCe Twitty (Scottsdale, Ariz.) had five kills and five total blocks, including one solo block and four block assists. Sophomore setter Allie DiBernardo (Coto de Caza, Calif.) had 27 assists in running the Wildcats offense.
Florida Atlantic never trailed in a strong first set, in which the Owls jumped out to a 7-2 lead and later stretched the margin to as many as seven points (23-16) despite Villanova getting as close as one point in the middle of the set after a kill by Carpenter trimmed the gap to 15-14.
In the second set the Wildcats withstood a big run by Florida Atlantic to tie the match at 1-1 by way of a 25-23 win in the set. Villanova led 18-14 after an ace by Twitty but the Owls scored seven unanswered points and led 21-18. Florida Atlantic was two points away from a 2-0 lead in the match when the score was 23-21 but the Wildcats responded with four unanswered points to close out the set.
A kill by Carpenter with the score tied at 23-apiece put Villanova in front to stay and she wound up with six kills, no hitting errors and a .353 attack percentage in the set. Edwards added four kills in the set and the Wildcats did their best hitting of the day with 14 kills, four errors and a .250 team hitting percentage.
Junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) had 18 digs to lead the Villanova defense and sophomore defensive specialist Ally Moskitis (Long Beach, Calif.) added seven digs and accounted for three of the Wildcats eight service aces on the day.
Villanova was set to play its final match at the ASU Sheraton Invitation against UC-Riverside at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday night. The results of that match, as well as the weekend's All-Tournament Team, will be announced late Saturday night following the conclusion of play.