Villanova Falls to Butler in Straight Sets
Nov. 16, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova volleyball team (12-16, 4-11 BIG EAST) dropped the season series to Butler (23-6, 10-4 BIG EAST) following the Bulldogs, 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 26-24), victory Saturday afternoon at the Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Wildcats struggled from the field as they hit .158 compared to the Bulldogs .217 attack pct. However, Villanova improved up front from previous weeks as it finished with seven blocks on the afternoon and 51 digs.
Butler jumped out to an early lead to begin the match which kept Villanova out of reach for the opening stanza. The Bulldogs registered 15 kills and only four errors in the set and won, 25-20, to take a one set to none lead.
Trailing 8-2 early in the second stanza, UCF went on a roll and scored a season-high 11 consecutive points in the rally with Claire Crutchfield serving to go ahead, 13-8. However, Butler fought back and eventually tied the match at 16-16 and 17-17. In the ensuing serve, the Bulldogs went on an 8-3 run to close the set with a 25-20 win.
Following the intermission, the dueling squads would play their most competitive set against each other all season. Down 19-15, Villanova would rally back to tie the match at 23-23 behind the backs of sophomores Brittany Rembert and Gabby Pethokoukis.
The Wildcats rally would fall short as Butler registered a block followed by a Morgan Peterson kill to take the set (26-24) and match. The Wildcats and Bulldogs would force six tie scores and two lead changes in the final stanza.
Pethokoukis dominated throughout the match. The two-time BIG EAST honoree recorded a match-high 12 kills on 23 attacks (.435) and five blocks. Rembert received the start and did not disappoint as she tallied six kills on only nine hits (.444).
Lauren Carpenter totaled 10 kills and five digs, while senior Mariah Henley added three service aces and a match-high 14 digs to her career numbers. Henley has now totaled 534 digs on the season which is good for No. 6 on the single season Villanova digs list.
Villanova will play its season finale next Sunday (Nov. 24) in Omaha, Neb. against Creighton at 2 p.m.