Nov. 11, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In its regular season finale Villanova (11-19, 5-10 BIG EAST) won the opening set but eventually fell to Pittsburgh (17-13, 7-8 BIG EAST) by a final of 3-1 at Jake Nevin Field House on Sunday afternoon. The loss concludes the 2012 season for the Wildcats, who honored their senior class prior to the start of the match.
Villanova won the opening set, 25-23, but the Panthers took the next three frames by scores of 25-19, 25-20 and 25-19 to close out the victory. Senior outside hitter Krista Andersen (Lakeland, Fla.) and freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter (Lakewood, Colo.) led the Wildcats with 11 kills apiece.
Andersen finished her outstanding career for Villanova with 1,092 career kills and was one of three graduating seniors to be recognized. Middle blocker CeCe Twitty (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and defensive specialist Kristina Bither (San Jose, Calif.) were also honored, along with team manager Ashley Harris and student assistant coach J.J. Goddu.
Freshman middle blocker Brittany Rembert (Orlando, Fla.) added eight kills for the Wildcats and freshman outside hitter Colleen Hickey (West Chester, Pa.) chipped in with seven kills. Twitty also had a strong effort in her final collegiate match with six kills to go along with team-highs of four block assists and four service aces.
Carpenter tallied 11 kills while committing just one hitting error on 27 attempts and led Villanova with a .270 attack percentage for the day. She registered five of her kills during a late run in the first set which enabled the Wildcats to pull out to a 1-0 lead. Villanova trailed 19-15 late in the opening frame but closed out the set with a 10-4 run.
The second set brought a reversal of fortunes, as the Wildcats saw a 10-6 lead erased when a 13-1 run by the Panthers gave Pittsburgh a 19-11 advantage. Villanova committed 10 hitting errors and hit just .028 in the set while the Panthers had only two errors while attacking at a .379 clip.
In the third set the back-and-forth nature of the match continued. Midway through the fame the Wildcats overcame a 14-10 deficit and pulled even when Rembert and sophomore setter Allie DiBernardo (Coto de Caza, Calif.) went to the net for a block which tied the score at 17-all.
The score was tied again at both 18 and 19 but Pittsburgh scored five of the final six points to take control of the match with a 2-1 lead. In the fourth set the Panthers quickly surged to an 18-9 lead and held off Villanova down the stretch.
DiBernardo had 39 assists and eight digs for the day, while junior libero Mariah Henley (Hockessin, Del.) registered 20 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Ally Moskitis (Long Beach, Calif.) contributed 10 digs to the defensive effort.