Sept. 25, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In its first ever national television debut, the Villanova volleyball team (10-5, 2-0 BIG EAST) defeated Notre Dame 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19) on Sunday afternoon in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Senior Maggie Mergen notched 13 kills and had six blocks to lead the offense, while junior Morgan Petkovich recorded nine kills, 15 digs and had four blocks. Sophomore Allison Williams posted seven kills and had six blocks.
"It's always good to get a win and always good to get a win on the road against a good team like Notre Dame, head coach Josh Steinbach said. "We defended well today and we really blocked well."
The Wildcats got off to a 6-1 lead early in the first set as Mergen and Petkovich connected on two kills each and Notre Dame took an early timeout. The Irish pulled to within a point after the break, 11-10, but Villanova extended its lead to 16-13 after Williams connected on a kill. Mergen found the floor to keep the Wildcats in front, 21-17 as Notre Dame used its final timeout. Williams and Petkovich teamed up for a block to give Villanova set point, 24-18 and the `Cats won 25-18 after an error from Notre Dame. Petkovich recorded six kills in the frame, while Mergen tallied five. Villanova combined to hit .333 as a team.
Williams found the floor for a kill to tie the second set at 7-7, but Notre Dame scored four unanswered points to take an 11-7 lead. After a timeout from the Wildcats, `Nova had pulled to within one point, 12-11. Notre Dame led 20-15 forcing the Wildcats use their final timeout and The Irish closed out the set on a 5-0 run to win, 25-15. Mergen had five kills in the set, while Maroon collected six digs.
A 6-1 lead for Villanova got the third set rolling. A kill from Williams kept the Wildcats in front, 8-4, but Notre Dame fought back to tie the set at 8-8. Villanova got back on top, 13-10 after Mergen landed a kill and led 15-11 at the media timeout. Mergen and junior Krista Andersen teamed up for a block to stay in front, 17-12, and Petkovich found the floor for a 20-16 lead that sent the Irish into a timeout. A block from Andersen and Williams put Villanova in front, 23-17, and the `Cats had set point, 24-18 after an error from Notre Dame. A kill from Mergen closed out the set with a 25-19 victory. The Wildcats put up 10 blocks in the frame.
Notre Dame led 7-3 to open the fourth, and extended its lead to 10-5 as Villanova called a timeout. After the break, Maroon served an ace as the Wildcats used a 6-1 run to tie the score at 11 and force The Irish to call timeout. Villanova took a 16-14 lead after consecutive errors from The Irish and extended the lead to 19-15, which sent Notre Dame into its final timeout. Williams found the floor for a kill out of the break, and led 22-15 after Williams connected again. The Irish went on a 4-1 run and Villanova took a timeout to regroup still leading 23-19. Henley sneaked a ball by for a kill and set point and an Irish error gave Villanova the victory, 25-19 in the set and winning the match in four sets.
Villanova combined for 12 total blocks in the match.
The Wildcats will return home next weekend and welcome West Virginia to Jake Nevin Fieldhouse on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:00 p.m. before facing Pittsburgh on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2:00 p.m. Help Villanova Dig Pink on Sunday's match. Follow villanova.com for more details.