VBALL: ‘Cats split Marquette, ‘Cuse in final home weekend

Jamie Augustinsky

Big East action was in full force this past weekend as the volleyball team hosted the Marquette Golden Eagles and Syracuse Orange in the final two home matches of the season. On Nov. 8, the team fell in five sets to Marquette, dropping the match 3-2, but the next day, it rebounded by sweeping Syracuse 3-0.

Villanova pulled to an early 6-3 lead in the first set of Saturday’s match. A kill by junior Chelsea Graman put the team ahead 15-9, but the Golden Eagles managed to go on a 5-2 offensive run to get right back into the set. With the score tied at 20-20, the ‘Cats scored three more points before Marquette gained the 25-23 victory.

In the second set, the Wildcats scored first and jumped to an early 8-2 lead. A kill by senior Dana Tartazky made the score 14-6, and freshman Morgan Petkovich’s kill gave the team an 18-12 lead. Villanova came out of this set with a 25-20 win.

The third set saw Marquette jump to a 14-11 advantage, but a 7-1 run by the Wildcats made the score 18-15 Villanova. A kill from freshman Maggie Mergen and back-to-back errors by the Golden Eagles put the Wildcats in position to win the set. Tartazky slammed the final kill to seal the 25-21 victory for the ‘Cats.

The fourth set put Marquette in a must-win situation, and the Golden Eagles came out to an early 6-1 lead. The Wildcats responded by completing a 9-3 offensive run of their own to take a 10-9 lead. A kill by Petkovich expanded Villanova’s lead to three points, but Marquette scored four unanswered points and held on to win the set 25-20, pushing the match into a fifth and deciding set.

The final set was all Marquette, as the Golden Eagles scored 10 unanswered points to start. The Wildcats only scored three points in the set, as Marquette took it 15-3 and the match 3-2.

Tartazky and Petkovich led the offense with 14 and 10 kills, respectively. Tartazky also had 10 digs on the day to earn the double-double. The team as a whole posted a season-high 13 blocks in the match.

Nov. 9 marked the final home match of the season, and the four senior team members were honored in a pre-game ceremony. Tartazky, Kaela Frizzell, Emily Brown and Whitney Harrington received recognition for their hard work and dedication to the team throughout the last four years.

In the first set, Villanova jumped to a 10-4 lead. A 7-2 offensive run by the Wildcats put them ahead 21-12. The Orange scored four unanswered points, but a service ace by freshman Kim Maroon sealed the 25-13 win for the Wildcats.

‘Nova led 16-10 in the second. Syracuse scored four consecutive points to pull to within one point, but a 4-1 run by the Wildcats and a final kill by Tartazky gave Villanova the 25-18 win.

After an early 5-5 tie in the third set, ‘Cuse had its first major lead of the afternoon, holding a 15-10 advantage. But a service ace by Maroon and three kills from Tartazky at the end of the set gave Villanova the 25-23 win to complete the 3-0 sweep of the Orange.

Tartazky led the team with a match-high 13 kills. Freshman Laurie McNamara pitched in with 10 kills and a .389 hitting percentage, and Mergen had nine kills, zero errors and a .529 attack percentage. Graman dished out 36 assists and seven digs in the match, and Maroon notched a match-high 22 digs.

The team’s record stands at 14-14 (5-7 Big East) after the weekend split.

This weekend, the team will hit the road to complete its last two regular-season matches of the year, taking on Big East opponents Georgetown tomorrow and USF on Sunday.