Oct. 10, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Following its first loss in seven matches, the Villanova volleyball team (10-6, 2-1 BIG EAST) will look to rebound this weekend when it travels across state lines to battle Seton Hall (5-9, 0-3 BIG EAST) Friday and St. John's (12-7, 1-2 BIG EAST) the following day. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start time.
Villanova will enjoy the presence of key Middle Blocker, Gabby Pethokoukis, who returned to the starting lineup against the Blue Demons. Pethokoukis was recognized by the BIG EAST for her play over the weekend, hitting .452 with 17 kills.
Friday night should include a battle of the conference's top libero's with Mariah Henley this year's top libero, averaging 5.12 digs/set, opposite last season's BIG EAST Libero of the Year, Alyssa Warren.
After three consecutive BIG EAST losses, Seton Hall bounced back Tuesday night with a shutout victory over Hofstra in its only match at the Walsch Gym. The Wildcats have dominated the series against the Pirates with a 31-12 record, including a 4-2 mark under Steinbach's tenure.
"The matches with Seton Hall have always been super tight," Villanova head coach Josh Steinbach said. "The twins are kids that we know well since they've got some Villanova ties and have been around our program a little bit. I think it's one of those things where they circle us on the schedule which adds fuel to the rivalry."
St. John's is 1-2 in their last three matches with the lone victory coming over Seton Hall at home, 3-2. The Red Storm have not lost a match on their home court, boasting a perfect 4-0 record at the Carnesecca Arena. The Wildcats hold a slight, 11-10, lead over the Red Storm in the all-time series.
"St. John's is good. They've lost two matches on the road and struggled a little bit against top teams," Steinbach added. "There outside hitter is very good and they've got a kid in the middle that can both score and block. Both matches this weekend are going to be challenging."
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