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Wildcats Force a Fifth Set, but Fall 3-2 to Louisville
Maggie Mergen

Nov. 11, 2011

Box Score | Steinbach Post-Match

VILLANOVA, Pa. - After trailing Louisville by two sets, the Villanova volleyball team (17-11, 8-5 BIG EAST) forced a fifth set but could not outlast the Cardinals who won the match 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 10-15) on Friday evening.

Junior Morgan Petkovich recorded a double-double and three Wildcats totaled double figure kills in the match. Petkovich finished with 17 kills and 11 digs. Senior Maggie Mergen notched 11 kills and junior Krista Andersen connected on 10 kills.

Senior Kim Maroon collected 29 digs, while sophomore Mariah Henley added a career-high 22 digs.

Senior Courtney Oertli and freshman Allie DiBernardo shared setting duties in the match. DiBernardo gave out 19 assists, while Oertli dished out 18 assists to her teammates.

"We played super hard tonight," head coach Josh Steinbach said. "I was impressed with our play. If we can put that kind of performance up on a daily basis we will win matches. We served well and defended and I'm really proud of how we played. I'm looking forward to what we can do on Sunday."

Villanova jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set and forced Louisville to call timeout. The Cardinals came back from the break and closed the gap to two points, 10-8, but Villanova capitalized on errors from Louisville and extended the lead to 15-10. Mergen served an ace for an 18-12 lead and an ace from Maroon gave the Wildcats set point, 24-16 before winning the set on a Cardinal error, 25-17.



After trailing Louisville 7-3 Villanova called timeout in the second set. Mergen and Petkovich connected on back-to-back kills, but the Cardinals held on to a 13-8 advantage. Villanova closed the gap to two points, 22-20 and forced Louisville to call timeout. After the break, the Cardinals committed three consecutive errors, which tied the set at 23-23, but Louisville regrouped to win the set 25-23.

Villanova led 7-4 in the first set, but after a timeout, the Cardinals used an 8-3 run to go in front, 12-10. The Wildcats fell behind 23-17 and used their last timeout before falling 25-20.

Andersen found the floor for two kills and DiBernardo served an ace as the Wildcats got out to an 8-5 lead in the fourth frame. Louisville regrouped after a timeout and went on a 6-2 run to take an 11-10 advantage. The teams traded points back-and-forth after a Villanova timeout, but the Wildcats used a 5-0 run and jumped in front, 22-18. Andersen slammed a kill, 23-20 and Petovich connected to force a fifth set by winning the fourth frame, 25-21.

In the fifth and final set, Mergen, Andersen and senior Kara Chatham all connected on kills as Villanova took a 5-2 lead and forced the Cardinals to call timeout. Petkovich quickly found the floor for a kill and gave Villanova a 6-3 lead. Louisville's offense sparked with five kills after a timeout and the Cardinals grabbed a 9-7 advantage. In their final timeout, the Wildcats trailed 11-8 and could not regain a lead as Louisville won 15-10 and earned the match victory.

Villanova will play its final home match of the 2011 season on Sunday. The Wildcats host Cincinnati at 2:00 p.m. and will honor the five graduating seniors before the match.