Sept. 20, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Young guns Lauren Carpenter, Michaela Berendt and Claire Crutchfield willed the Villanova volleyball team to victory as the Wildcats topped Sacred Heart, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 25-14), Friday night at the Jake Nevin Field House in day one of the Villanova Classic.
"I thought we battled even though we didn't play well in the first two sets," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "Once we started serving and passing, the fact that we were more physical came to light."
The Wildcats have seemed to hit their stride as they improve to 6-5 on the year, including five wins in the past six matches. Villanova dominated on the attack against Sacred Heart (5-5), finishing with 45 kills and only 16 errors to the Pioneers 42 kills and 34 errors.
Villanova and Sacred Heart traded points throughout the first set which included seven tie scores. After a timeout called by Steinbach with the score tied at 20-20, the Wildcats scored four points in a row before a service error would claim the Villanova victory, 25-22.
Sacred Heart would not let its guard down in the second set, rallying from a 10-6 deficit to tie the match at 11-11. In a back and forth game, Sacred Heart would prosper down the stretch to take the second set, 25-22.
The Wildcats would come back with a vengeance to dominate the third set, 25-17. Villanova would then impose its will in the last set to claim a 25-14 victory.
Senior captain Mariah Henley impressed on the defensive end and finished with a match high 30 digs.
Three Villanova underclassmen finished with double digit kills and 37 of them were assisted by sophomore Emma Pettit. Carpenter led the team with 14 kills on 34 hits (.324), Berendt followed with 11 kills on 22 attacks (.364) and five blocks, while Crutchfield added 10 kills (.333).
"Carpenter played well on the offensive end," Steinbach added. "Henley and Ally Moskitis had impressive games as well, cleaning up Sacred Heart's attacks."
Villanova will have a short turnaround and be in action Saturday at 11 a.m. against Norfolk State. The Wildcats will conclude the double header and Villanova Classic with a 7 p.m. showdown versus Penn (4-4)at who defeated Norfolk State, 3-2, earlier today.