Sept. 28, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova volleyball team opened BIG EAST play with a victory Saturday night, after topping Georgetown, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15), at the Jake Nevin Field House.
"It's good to get wins," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "Georgetown is much improved and played really well. It feels good to be 1-0 in conference and we're back at home next week on Friday and Saturday."
The Wildcats improve to 9-5 on the season and now own a five-match winning streak with all those victories coming on their home court. Villanova (9-5, 1-0) has now won four matches in a row against Georgetown (6-8, 0-1).
"It feels good to be at home. We had a nice crowd tonight and they got going when the match was tight," Steinbach added. "It feels nice to hear some friendly voices and we're always excited to play here."
Villanova opened the match on fire, recording seven of the first eight points against Georgetown. The Hoyas would bounce back to make the set exciting, which included nine tie scores. Tied at 24-24, a Mariah Henley service ace and Lauren Saar attack error gave the Wildcats the 1-0 advantage.
In a back and forth second stanza, Georgetown capitalized on some mistakes to capture the set, 25-23. Villanova and Georgetown would go on to trade points throughout the third set. With the game tied at 6-6, the Wildcats would go on a rally for four consecutive points, which was all the momentum they needed as they never trailed after that and finished off the stanza, 25-21.
Up two sets to one, Villanova would impose its will on Georgetown by jumping out to an 11-2 lead. The Wildcats would go on to dominate the Hoyas, 25-15, to jump up-top the BIG EAST standings.
Leading attacker Lauren Carpenter recorded a match-high 18 kills, which improves her kills/set to 3.55 on the year. Despite playing in only her 14th career match, Claire Crutchfield continues to look like a seasoned veteran. The freshman totaled 13 kills on 32 attacks, hitting an efficient .312 on the night.
Henley continues to instill her defensive and leadership values on a young squad. Coming into the match, the senior led the BIG EAST in digs/set and tallied another 28 digs to that total.
"Mariah is very good. She served great in the end, defended very well and kept a consistent serve and receive," Steinbach said. "We feel really good with her back there, anchoring things and leading the team as well."
Villanova will return to the court next weekend for a pair of conference matches. The Wildcats will host their annual "Dig Pink" match Friday at 7 p.m. against DePaul before taking on Marquette the following night at 7 p.m.
Villanova is teaming with the charity, Side Out, to help raise awareness about Breast Cancer. Fans are encouraged to donate and help the Wildcats reach its goal by clicking on the "Dig Pink" link located on the sidebar of the Villanova.com volleyball page.