Wildcats win BIG EAST Opener at DePaul
Sept. 24, 2011
CHICAGO, Ill. - The Villanova volleyball team mounted a comeback on Saturday afternoon at DePaul and rebounded to defeat the Blue Demons 3-2 (25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-9) in the BIG EAST opener at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Villanova (9-5, 1-0 BIG EAST) had three post double figure kills with senior Maggie Mergen and junior Krista Andersen each connecting on 17 kills. Sophomore Allison Williams tallied 10 kills and hit .389.
After being tied 4-4 in the first set, the Wildcats used a 5-1 run, which forced DePaul to call a timeout and took a 9-5 lead in to the break. An error from the Blue Demons kept Villanova in front, 15-13, and Mergen found the floor for a kill to extend the lead to 19-16. A kill from senior Kara Chatham gave Villanova set point, 24-21, and Mergen found the floor for a kill and the 25-21 victory.
DePaul used a 5-1 run to jump ahead 8-4 early in the second frame, but the Wildcats scored three unanswered to pull to within one point, 8-7. Villanova called timeout, trailing the Blue Demons 15-10. After the break, the Wildcats pulled to within four points, 17-13 and DePaul called timeout. Andersen smashed a kill as Villanova pulled to within two points, 19-17 and Moskitis served an ace on the following play. Villanova tied the score at 19, but three quick points from the Blue Demons forced the `Cats to call timeout trailing 22-19. Mergen found the floor for consecutive kills out of the break, 22-21, but DePaul earned set point at 24-21. Villanova scored one point to extend the match, but the Blue Demons won the set, 25-22. Mergen tallied five kills in the set.
Maroon and Mergen teamed up for a block in the third set to tie the score at 3-3. Maroon served back-to-back aces to put Villanova in front, 11-8. Mergen smashed a kill to extend the lead to 14-10, and helped the `Cats stay ahead 17-13 after another kill. The Blue Demons used a 6-0 run to comeback and tie the set at 18-18. After DePaul scored out of the break to go ahead 19-18, Mergen and junior CeCe Twitty teamed up for a block to tie at 19. Williams found the floor for a kill to keep Villanova in front 22-20, which sent DePaul into a timeout. The Blue Demons scored two unanswered after the break to tie at 22 apiece and then took a 23-22 lead after an error from Villanova. DePaul took set point, 24-22, but Williams slammed a kill to keep the set alive. The Blue Demons scored to win the set, 25-23. Williams tallied four kills in the frame.
An ace from Maroon put the Wildcats on top 5-2 and they extended their lead to 8-5 as Andersen found the floor for a kill. Petkovich smashed a kill to stay in front, 14-12 and Moskitis served an ace for a 19-14 lead and sent DePaul into a timeout. Petkovich notched a kill to extend the lead to 22-15 as DePaul called its final timeout. The Blue Demons scored two unanswered points out of the break, but Williams and DiBernardo teamed up for a block for set point, 24-17. A kill from Henley gave the Wildcats the victory, 25-17 to force a fifth set. Andersen connected for seven kills in the set and the Wildcats hit .361 as a team.
Maroon opened the fifth set with an ace and Mergen slammed a kill for a 3-2 advantage. The Wildcats led 5-2 after consecutive errors from the Blue Demons and DePaul called a timeout to regroup. The teams switched sides with Villanova leading 8-3 and extended to 10-6 after Williams and sophomore Carly Edwards teamed up for a block. Mergen connected for a kill to stay in front, 13-8. Moskitis launched an ace for match point, 14-8, and DiBernardo and Mergen combined for a block to win the set 15-9 and take the match in five sets.
The Wildcats combined to hit .256 as a team and held DePaul to a .135 clip.
Villanova will travel to Notre Dame on Sunday, Sept. 25. The match will be televised live on ESPNU beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.