VBALL: Pirates defeat ‘Nova

Jamie Augustinsky

The volleyball team jumped back into Big East action on Oct. 18, traveling to Seton Hall to take on the Pirates. The team fell in the first two sets, but rallied to take the third and fourth before falling in the fifth and deciding set to lose the match, 3-2.

The score in the first set was knotted at seven after junior Chelsea Graman served an ace, but the Pirates pulled ahead and served at set point with the score at 24-22 to take the set by a final score of 25-22.

The Wildcats found themselves trailing 8-4 in the second set but pulled to within two points at 11-9. After senior Kaela Frizzell served an ace, the game was tied at 14. Although freshman Maggie Mergen put the ‘Cats ahead 19-18 with a kill, the Pirates came out of this set with the 25-23 victory.

The team came into the third set needing a victory to stay alive in the match. Villanova trailed 7-3 early in the set but went on a 10-6 offensive run to tie the score at 13. Frizzell provided another service ace in this set to contribute to the run, and freshman Morgan Petkovich served an ace to give the Wildcats their first lead of the frame at 15-14. Freshman Laurie McNamara sealed the 25-22 victory with a set-ending kill.

In another must-win situation in the fourth set, Villanova pulled to an early 6-2 lead and then extended that lead to 9-4. The set seemed to be nearly put away, as the ‘Cats held a 20-16 lead, but Seton Hall went on a 5-2 run to pull within one point at 22-21. A block from Petkovich and McNamara gave the Wildcats the 25-22 victory and sent the match into a fifth and deciding set.

The two Big East opponents traded points in the fifth with no clear leader. The set was tied at 8-8 and then again at 10-10, but a kill by Tartazky put the ‘Cats ahead. The Pirates, however, rallied with late-set points and took it 15-12, winning the match 3-2.

Senior Dana Tartazky, with 20 kills and 14 digs, and Graman, with 13 digs and a match-high 50 assists, each posted double-doubles in the match, while McNamara achieved a career-high in kills at 15.

This loss puts the ‘Cats at .500 with an 11-11 record on the season and a 2-4 record against Big East opponents. The team will look to snap its four-game losing streak when it hosts the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Jake Nevin Field House in Big East play on Saturday.