Oct. 13, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - In the first of two road matches this weekend Villanova (9-11, 3-3 BIG EAST) was swept, 3-0, at USF (11-9, 3-4 BIG EAST) at the Corral on Friday night. The host Bulls won by set scores of 25-16, 25-23 and 25-21 to snap the Wildcats four-match winning streak.
Freshman middle blocker Gabby Pethokoukis (Western Springs, Ill.) paced Villanova with 10 kills, just one hitting error and a .600 attack percentage for the evening, while also matching senior middle blocker CeCe Twitty (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with a team-high three block assists.
The first and second sets both started out close but resulted in a run by USF to take the lead. Those spurts proved to be the difference in the match and the Bulls went on to lead for the entire third set. Entering the match the Wildcats had dropped just five sets total while winning their last four outings.
Pethokoukis accounted for all of her offensive production in the final two sets, recording five kills without committing an error in both the second and third frames. Twitty added eight kills and hit .353 in the match, while senior outside hitter Krista Andersen (Lakeland, Fla.) and freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter (Lakewood, Colo.) chipped in with seven and six kills, respectively.
In the opening set there were three lead changes and the score was tied six times but USF turned a 13-13 tie score into a 25-16 win in the set with a 12-3 run. Four attack errors and one service error by Villanova during that closing stretch helped enable the Bulls to go ahead 1-0 in the match.
The second set remained close until the final points and featured 11 ties and four lead changes. Late in the set the Wildcats had leads of 22-18 and 23-20 but USF came out of a timeout to record five consecutive points and rally to win the set. Villanova rebounded from posting a negative hitting percentage in the opening set (-.026) to hit .324 in the second frame, with Andersen and Pethokoukis leading the way with five kills apiece.
Freshman setter Emma Pettit (Ft. Collins, Colo.) had 32 assists and junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) posted 11 digs in the match. The team's defensive effort also included nine digs from sophomore defensive specialist Ally Moskitis (Long Beach, Calif.), while Pettit added seven digs.
Next up for the Wildcats this weekend is a Sunday afternoon game at Pittsburgh, with first serve scheduled for 2 p.m.