Wildcats Fall to Cincinnati, 3-0, in BIG EAST Opener
Sept. 25, 2009
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Despite a match-high 17 kills from freshman outside hitter Krista Andersen, Villanova (11-3, 0-1 Big East) fell in three games to Cincinnati (10-6, 1-0 Big East) on Friday night at Jake Nevin Field House in the conference opener for both teams. The Wildcats lost by scores of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-23 and saw a six-match winning streak come to an end.
A quick start in the first set helped the Bearcats to establish early momentum in the match. Cincinnati won seven of the first eight points of the night and hit .407 along the way to winning the first set. The next two sets were a different story, though, as the teams traded leads until late in the second and third frames.
There were 13 ties and seven lead changes in the third and final set, which Villanova led for the final time at 22-21 following a service error by the Bearcats. Two points later, a kill by sophomore middle blocker Maggie Mergen tied the score at 23-23, but Cincinnati won two consecutive points on a kill by Stephanie Niemer and a Wildcat attack error to close out the match.
In the second set, Villanova quickly recorded the first three points and then came back from a large deficit to take the lead late in the set. Facing deficits of 17-10 and 21-15 during the set, the Wildcats rallied to take a 23-22 lead. Andersen served six consecutive points during the rally and had a pair of kills as Villanova used an 8-1 run to take the lead. However, Niemer and Megan Turner each had a kill before a service ace ended the game and put the Bearcats ahead 2-0 in the match.
Andersen tallied her 17 kills with just four hitting errors for a .342 attack percentage, while also accounting for 2.5 of the 6.0 team blocks registered by Villanova. Andersen had two solo blocks and one block assist. Mergen and senior outside hitter Amy Gulyas had six kills each for the Wildcats and Mergen added a pair of block assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Kim Maroon tied a match high with 12 digs and sophomore setter Courtney Ouertli registered 28 assists.
The Bearcats were led with 13 kills by Niemer, who also had three block assists. Jordanne Scott chipped in 10 kills and Annie Fesl had 31 assists.
Villanova returns to action on Sunday afternoon when it hosts Louisville at 2 p.m.