VBALL: ‘Nova drops last two games

Jamie Augustinsky

The volleyball team played in its last two matches of the season last weekend, taking on the Georgetown Hoyas and the South Florida Bulls in Big East action. The team lost both matches, falling to Georgetown in a 3-0 sweep and losing to USF 3-1.

In Washington D.C. on Nov. 14, Villanova took an early 5-2 lead in the first set of the match against the Hoyas. Georgetown tied the score at 6-6, but a kill by senior Dana Tartazky, who was named to the Big East Honor Roll last week for her efforts in the Nov. 8 and 9 matches, gave the ‘Cats an 8-7 lead. The Hoyas then scored four unanswered points and maintained their lead to take the first set 25-13.

Again in the second set, the Wildcats led early, but the Hoyas bounced right back to score five consecutive points, taking a 10-5 lead. A 7-2 run by the Hoyas gave them a 20-11 lead, but freshmen Morgan Petkovich and Maggie Mergen kept the ‘Cats in the frame with a service ace and a kill, respectively, to close the gap to 22-16. The Hoyas came out of the set with a 25-19 win.

Georgetown led 8-5 early in the third frame, but the Wildcats tied the score. The score remained close later in the frame at 20-18 after three consecutive Villanova points. The Wildcats came within one point of the Hoyas, but the ‘Cats fell 25-21 in the closest set of the match, giving the Hoyas the 3-0 sweep.

Mergen led the team with six kills in the match, and junior Chelsea Graman pitched in with 16 assists.

In Tampa, Fla., on Nov. 16, the Wildcats and USF Bulls were tied at 10 apiece in the first set. A 9-4 run by the Bulls gave them a 19-14 lead. Freshman Laurie McNamara’s kill and a USF error allowed the Wildcats to again tie the set at 20-20, but a Villanova error and a kill by the Bulls gave USF the frame 25-23.

The second set was tied at 18, but two miscues by USF put ‘Nova ahead. A kill by McNamara sealed the 25-22 victory for the ‘Cats.

A 12-12 tie was the setting in the middle of the third set, but South Florida pulled ahead and led Villanova by one point late in the set. The Bulls completed a 5-2 offensive run to give them the 25-21 win.

Consecutive kills by Mergen and Tartazky gave Villanova an 11-9 lead in the fourth set, but the Bulls evened the score at 13 apiece. After a 19-16 Villanova lead, a 5-2 stretch by the Bulls tied the score again at 21. Senior Whitney Harrington connected on a kill, but USF hit the final kill to take the 25-23 win and the match 3-1.

Freshman defensive specialist Kim Maroon was out with a broken hand, but the other freshmen team members led the team in this match. Petkovich, Mergen and McNamara had 18, 15 and seven kills and hit at .441, .519 and .462, respectively. Graman dished out 43 assists on the match, senior Emily Brown connected on a season-high 16 digs and senior Whitney Harrington had six blocks.

With the recent woes and weekend losses the Wildcats were officially elimated from postseason and Big East tournament contention. Villanova, which was once on a fast-track to play past the regular season after a good start to the year, lost nine of its last 12 conference matchups.

After completing the final games of ’08, Villanova finishes the year with a 14-16 (5-9 Big East) record.