MILWAUKEE, Wisc. -- Villanova lost 3-0 (20-25, 22-25, 19-25) to Creighton in the BIG EAST Semi-Finals on Friday afternoon. Allie Loitz (Bonita, Calif.) led the Wildcats with 11 kills, five digs and two service aces on a .346 hitting percentage in the loss. Allison Fitzgerald (St. Louis, Mo.) was awarded BIG EAST All-Tournament team after her 11-dig performance.
Villanova (18-12, 11-8 BIG EAST) Team Stats
3 serve aces
Creighton (24-6, 17-2 BIG EAST) Team Stats
4 serve aces
Villanova Individual Stats
Allie Loitz: 11 kills, 5 digs, .346 hit pct.
Amanda Pedersen-Henry (Murrieta, Calif.): 7 kills, 2 blocks, .333 hit pct.
Emma Decker (LaGrange, Ill.): 33 assists, 4 digs
Allison Fitzgerald 11 digs
Creighton Individual Stats
Taryn Kloth: 14 kills, .483 hit pct., 14 points
Jaali Winters: 11 kills, 14 digs, 1 service ace
Lydia Dimke: 4 kills, 33 assists, 3 blocks
Creighton got out to a 3-1 lead but three straight points and an Allie Loitz service ace give the Wildcats their first lead of the set at 4-3. The Bluejays responded back with four straight scores to regain the lead at 7-4. Creighton continued to an 8-2 run forcing Villanova to call a timeout trailing 11-6. Out of the timeout, the Bluejays kept their momentum scoring three more times before Villanova stopped the run at 14-7. Creighton extended their lead to 19-10 but the Wildcats scored three straight points on a pair of kills from Allie Olsonoski (New Orleans, La.) to force a Bluejays timeout trailing 19-13. Out of the timeout, an Ashley Knight (Omaha, Neb.) ace and Emma Decker kill brought Villanova back within four at 19-15. They were able to bring the score back within three at 22-19 late and again at 23-20 but Creighton closed out the first set 25-20.
Villanova got out to an early 5-4 lead on four kills and a service ace from Loitz to start them out. They continued that lead to 6-5 when Creighton scored three straight points to regain the lead at 8-6 but three kills for the Wildcats got it right back to 9-8 Villanova. They got their lead to 11-9 but the Bluejays responded with a 6-1 run to take a 15-12 lead. The teams traded scores to keep the set within three at 18-15 Creighton. The Bluejays then took three of the next four points to force a Villanova timeout trailing 21-16. Out of the timeout, a Mallory Potts (San Antonio, Texas) kill and a block from Amanda Pedersen-Henry got Villanova back within three at 21-18. The Bluejays scored, but another kill from Pedersen-Henry and a Creighton attack error narrowed the deficit to 22-20 forcing Creighton to take a timeout. Villanova scored twice more but Creighton closed out the set 25-22.
The teams went back and forth trading scores to a 9-9 tie early in the set. Creighton then took three out of the next four scores to take a 12-10 lead. A kill from Loitz brought Villanova back within one but Creighton responded back with two more points to get the lead up to three at 14-11 forcing a Wildcats timeout. Creighton then took four out of the next five points to force Villanova to take another timeout trailing 18-12. The Bluejays continued their run out of the timeout with another two points before Remy Fairchild (Southlake, Texas) stopped their run with a kill at 20-13. Villanova scored back-to-back points on kills from Pedersen-Henry and Potts to narrow the score to 22-17 but Creighton responded back with two straight points of their own. The Bluejays then closed out the set 25-19 and the match 3-0.
Head Coach Josh Steinbach stated this after the match, "This was a great group that we're super proud of but unfortunately we just didn't have it today. It was a great season and I'm really proud of how they fought all year long."