Nov. 2, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After forcing a fifth set before being down 2-0, the Villanova volleyball team's (12-11, 4-6 BIG EAST) rally falls just short as the Hoyas defeat the Wildcats, 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 12-25, 16-14), in an exciting Saturday night battle at the McDonough Arena in Washington D.C.
"It was a tough loss and a tough lesson that I thought we learned tonight," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "We felt like when we played well we were in control of the match, but we didn't get going until it was much too late."
The loss gives the Wildcats a season split with the Hoyas (10-13, 4-6 BIG EAST) and moves them to 4-6 in the conference with six matches left in the year.
It was all Georgetown to begin the night, after the Hoyas jumped out to a quick two sets to none lead. In set one, Georgetown defeated the Wildcats, 25-19, before winning, 25-23, in a back-and-forth set two that included eight tie scores and four lead changes.
The Wildcats used a brief intermission to recoup and bounce back after a slow start. In the third stanza, Villanova would go on to dominate the Hoyas, 25-15, and live to fight another set.
Villanova would answer with the equalizer and force a final set following a, 25-12, fourth set triumph, marking the Wildcats largest margin of victory in a set this season.
The two squads would trade points in the decisive stanza that had eight tie scores and eclipsed the 15 point mark. Tied at 14-14, a Villanova error and an Alex Johnson kill would capture the match for the Hoyas.
Despite outstating the Hoyas on the attack and block, Villanova's slow start would hinder its chances at a season sweep over Georgetown. The Wildcats hit .256 with 13 blocks to the Hoyas .158 and five blocks.
Sophomore Gabby Pethokoukis finished with the best match of her career, registering a career-high 19 kills on 35 hits (.429) and added seven blocks. Freshman Michaela Berendt recorded a match-high .529 hit percentage with 11 kills and seven blocks.
Senior libero Mariah Henley continues to achieve significant milestones in her career with the Wildcats. With a match-high 22 digs tonight, Henley has now accumulated 447 digs in her career. She has now surpassed Mariah Preparos (431) and Elizabeth Jones (436) with the eighth most digs in a single season for the Wildcats.
Villanova returns home next weekend for three matches against the conference's No. 2, 3 and 4 teams according to the BIG EAST standings. The Wildcats face previously ranked Creighton Friday (6 p.m.) and Butler on Saturday (6 p.m.), before playing their final match of the season at the Jake Nevin Field House against Xavier for Senior Day on Sunday (3 p.m.).