Volleyball wins in five sets to notch 16th win

Nicholas Behrman

The women’s volleyball team stretched its win streak to four games with a victory over fellow Big East rival St. John’s 3-2 (9-25, 25-14, 25-22, 19-25, 15-10). The Wildcats (16-6, 5-3 Big East) beat the Red Storm (8-14, 1-5 Big East) at the Jake Nevin Field House this Sunday to win its first five set match since beating Virginia Tech 3-2 in Charlottesville, Va. nearly a month before this game.

St. John’s started off fast by winning the first set by double digits, 25-9, but the Wildcats never gave up and fought back to win the next game also by double digits, 25-14.

The volleyball team was led by sophomores Kim Maroon and Courtney Oertli, who had 19 digs and 42 assists respectively. Gabriella Petokova led St. John’s with 38 assists.

The Wildcats also got impressive double digit kills from three different players: sophomore Maggie Mergen had 14 kills; senior Elysse Studzinski had 13 kills; freshman Krista Anderson had 11 kills.

After the Wildcats tied the match at a set apiece, the two teams both battled to take a commanding 2-1 set lead. St John’s committed two costly errors, which eventually led to Maroon serving for the third set with the winning kill coming from Mergen.

Villanova took a quick lead in the fourth set, but squandered it to a streaking St. John’s team, which held on to win the fourth set 25-19, setting up the fifth and deciding set.

However, though St. John’s stayed close, they never held a lead in the fifth set, eventually surrendering the set and match to Villanova 15-10, with Mergen again coming down with the final point.

The win was the team’s fourth in a row as the Wildcats have put together an impressive run in the Big East. Over the past two weeks, Villanova has defeated Seton Hall, Rutgers, Connecticut and St. John’s, all at home. Overall, the team is 7-3 at home this season.

The Wildcats won’t play another conference game for a week, and instead head up to New York on Sunday to play Fordham.

The Wildcats then return home for the next game against University of South Florida on Oct. 30. That game will begin the last homestand of the year for the Villanova.