Nov. 10, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova volleyball team (12-14, 4-9 BIG EAST) honored seniors Julie Joyce, Carly Edwards and Mariah Henley before they took on Xavier (18-9, 9-3 BIG EAST) Sunday afternoon. Following the Senior Day festivities, the Wildcats dropped their first match ever against the Musketeers, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-20), at the Jake Nevin Field House.
"We played really hard, just not well enough and not organized enough to win today," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said.
Since the shutout victory over DePaul, Villanova has now dropped four matches against BIG EAST opponents. The difference in the match came down to efficiency, Xavier won the attack by hitting .374 to Villanova's .108.
The Musketeers jumped out to an early lead after scoring 14 of the match's first 18 points. Behind four kills on five attacks from Mikayla Agin, Xavier would take an early lead with a 25-14, set one win.
Villanova would respond in the beginning of the second stanza with kills by four different underclassmen. The two teams would combine for five tie scores and three lead changes in the set, before Xavier went on the attack with the score tied at 16-16. The Musketeers finished set two on a 9-1 run to go up two sets to none heading into the intermission.
In set three, the Wildcats would hit a solid .296 as a team. However, Xavier was too efficient for Villanova and closed out set three with a .483 attack pct. With the score tied at 17-17, the Musketeers used several kills by Alex Smith and Alex Blair to capture their 18th win of the season.
Sophomore Lauren Carpenter achieved double-digit kills for the 21st time this season following a team-high 10 kills on the afternoon. Fellow underclassman Gabby Pethokoukis continued her efficiency, behind a seven kill (.333) effort. Freshman Michaela Berendt recorded five kills on 14 attacks (.286).
In the last home match of her historic career, Henley registered 11 digs and a service ace. The libero now has 494 digs on the season, which moves her to No. 7 all-time on the Villanova single season digs list.
The Wildcats will return to action on the road next weekend when they travel to Xavier Friday for a noon start time. On the road trip, Villanova will also take on Butler Saturday at 2:30 p.m.