Sept. 21, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova volleyball squad closed out a successful weekend Saturday as they defeated Penn, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 25-14), at the Jake Nevin Field House to improve to 8-5 on the season. The Wildcats swept the Villanova Classic with wins over Norfolk State and Sacred Heart en route to a four match winning streak.
"I thought we got better as the weekend went on," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "One of the things we talk about all the time with our team is getting better through matches, getting better through tournaments and getting better throughout the season."
Sophomores Lauren Carpenter and Emma Pettit were named to the Villanova Classic All-Tournament Team for their stellar play throughout the weekend. Senior captain Mariah Henley was named the tournament's MVP with 58 digs over the three match slate.
"Henley does the stuff that doesn't show up on the stat sheets," Steinbach added. "She serves-receives the ball very well and keeps the system in place that sets up everything else were doing which makes it easy on Emma and the rest of our attackers."
With the first set tied at 18-18, Villanova answered the call at the end of the stanza by scoring seven of the next 10 points for a 25-21 win. Down one set, Penn (5-5) would respond with a run of their own to capture the second set, 25-22.
In a back and forth match, the Wildcats would power its way through the latter half. In a third set that included 10 lead changes, Villanova buckled down with the match tied at 17-17, to go an 8-3 run and go up two sets to one.
In the last set, the Quakers and Wildcats traded points throughout with 12 tie scores. However, Villanova showed their strength on the attack with several kills by Carpenter, Crutchfield and Michaela Berendt to take the set, 25-23.
Carpenter finished with her best match of the season and possibly ever at Villanova, totaling a career-high 24 kills on 54 hits (.315) and five blocks. Crutchfield added 12 kills on 29 attacks (.276) and Colleen Hickey set a milestone as well, eclipsing her career-high in kills with 11 on 25 swings (.320).
"Carpenter had a really good matchup, especially in game four so we kept giving her the ball and she was putting it away," Steinbach said. "Offensively she's been getting better and better and she's a physical kid that can do many things well."
Pettit recorded a double-double with 50 assists and 10 digs for the night. Henley tallied 13 digs, while Ally Moskitis registered 10 digs on her birthday. Brittany Rembert tied her career-high in blocks with seven for the match.
Villanova will return to the courts a week from today for its first BIG EAST match of the season. The Wildcats will take on familiar foe Georgetown at the Jake Nevin Field House Saturday night at 7 p.m.