VILLANOVA, Pa. – Allie Loitz (Bonita, Calif.) had 11 kills, five digs and a service ace to lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-20) over Providence on Senior Night and clinch the final spot for the BIG EAST Tournament.
Villanova (18-11, 11-7 BIG EAST) Team Stats
9 service aces
Providence (17-16, 6-12 BIG EAST) Team Stats
1 service aces
Villanova Individual Stats
Allie Loitz: 11 kills, 5 digs, .429 hit pct., 1 service ace
Amanda Pedersen-Henry (Murrieta, Calif.): 7 kills, 2 service aces, 4 digs, .462 hit pct.
Emma Decker (LaGrange, Ill.): 29 assists, 3 service aces, 4 digs
Providence Individual Stats
Addison Root: 13 kills, 14 points, .286 hit pct.
Allison Barber: 24 digs, 6 digs
Megan Onyundo: 4 kills, 6 digs
Villanova and Providence started out at a 4-4 tie before the Wildcats were able to gain momentum off of an Allie Olsonoski (New Orleans, La.) kill and two Ashley Knight (Omaha, Neb.) service aces. Providence responded with two straight points, but Villanova then ripped off a 7-2 run to force a Friars timeout. The timeout failed to kill the Wildcats run, as they rattled off another 8-1 run fueled by kills from Darcy Wolf (Allentown, Pa.) and two Amanda Pedersen-Henry service aces. Now leading 22-9, Providence was able to score three more times but two kills from Olsonoski closed out the set 25-12 for Villanova.
Villanova got out to an 11-7 lead before they scored four consecutive times to take a commanding 15-7 lead over the Friars. Providence scored four of the next six points to get the score to 17-11 but struggled to keep it close. The remained within six points at 21-15 but the Wildcats had back to back scores to bring the deficit back to eight at 23-15. Providence scored twice in a row to try and narrow the set but another kill from Wolf ended the set 25-18 Villanova.
Providence scored the first two points in the set but Villanova responded with four straight scores to take a 4-2 lead. Providence came right back with a 5-1 run but the Wildcats confidence never wavered. Trailing 7-5, Villanova mounted a comeback behind two kills and a service ace from Allie Loitz to bring the score within one at 10-9. They then scored seven straight times on kills from Pedersen-Henry, Olsonoski and Emma Decker to take a 16-10 lead and never looked back. The Friars made a run of their own to get the score to 17-14, but Villanova brought the lead right back to five at 20-15. Providence narrowed the gap to three at 22-19 and again at 23-20 but a kill from Pedersen-Henry and a Friars attack error closed out the set 25-20.
Head Coach Josh Steinbach had this to say following the victory, “It was a good win and a good team performance. I’m honored that we played so well for our seniors and that we get a chance to play at least another week with them.”
Next in their Schedule:
The Wildcats travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the BIG EAST Tournament next weekend where they will face off against Creighton. More details to follow throughout the week on Villanova.com