Nov. 15, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova volleyball team (12-15, 4-10 BIG EAST) dropped its second match to Xavier, 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-12, 25-19), Friday afternoon at the Cintas Center. The Musketeers (19-9, 10-3 BIG EAST) came into the match already clinched the BIG EAST playoffs but are fighting against Creighton for the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
"Xavier is very good and played well at home," head coach Josh Steinbach said. "I feel like our team played hard and we are continuing to improve. It just wasn't quite enough today."
Villanova struck first in set one as both teams traded points early in the stanza. However, with the score at 7-6 in Xavier's favor, the Musketeers would pull away and take the set, 25-19.
The Wildcats looked their best in set two as the two teams went back-and-forth for eight tie scores and four lead changes. On the verge of going down two sets trailing 15-19, Villanova went on the attack and rallied to take its first set since Georgetown. Crutchfield along with sophomore Colleen Hickey pitched in three kills each during an 11-5 run to tie the match at one set a piece heading into the intermission.
Xavier would fire back following the break and take a two sets to one lead with a 25-12 third set victory. The final set included a match-high 11 tie scores and six lead changes. The Wildcats answered almost every Musketeer point up to 16-16 before Xavier pulled away at the end and captured their 10th BIG EAST win of the season following a 25-19 victory.
Freshman Claire Crutchfield was attacking strong throughout the match and set a career high with 19 kills on the afternoon. That number led all scorers as Abber Bessler of Xavier finished one kill shy of Crutchfield's total.
Following a 39 assist, eight dig and three kill performance, Emma Pettit shuffled past Jennifer Badran-Grycan on the all-time Villanova career assists record book. The sophomore has accumulated 1,757 assists in her brief career and is in striking distance of No. 8 Cathy Arnette (1,803) with two matches remaining.
Lauren Carpenter was second on the team with eight kills and 10 blocks while Hickey came off the bench to record eight kills as well to go along with seven digs and a solo block.
The Wildcats will return to action tomorrow (Saturday) when they take on Butler (21-6, 8-4 BIG EAST) at the Hinkle Fieldhouse. First serve is at 2:30 p.m.
Be sure to follow the team socially on Twitter and Instagram @NovaVolleyball and like the Villanova Volleyball Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest news, scores and highlights from this weekend.