VBALL: ‘Cats have tough time on West Coast

Jamie Augustinsky

The volleyball team took part in the USF Asics/Coca-Cola Invitational Tournament in San Francisco last weekend. The ‘Cats went 1-2 on the weekend, falling in their first two games against Miami and San Francisco but ending positively by beating Sacramento State.

The first match of the tournament for the Wildcats was on Sept. 12 against Miami. The ‘Cats won the first set 24-20, but Miami came out strong in the second set, taking a 10-4 lead and never trailing as the Hurricanes went on to win 25-16. The third was a close one, which saw Villanova trailing 7-6. A 7-0 run by the ‘Cats put them ahead 13-7, but Miami scored four unanswered points and soon took the lead at 20-19.

The rest of the set went back and forth between the two teams until Miami finally secured a 31-29 win after two consecutive errors by the Wildcats. The ‘Cats found themselves trailing 4-0 early in the fourth set, but pulled within one point at 22-21 following a Miami attack error.

The Wildcats could not complete the comeback as they fell 25-22, losing the match by a score of 3-1. Senior Dana Tartazky had a double-double on the day with 15 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Morgan Petkovich had 18 kills and an attack percentage of .351, while junior Chelsea Graman led the team in assists with 45.

The team had two matches the following day and the first was against the host team. San Francisco took the first set 25-20, but Villanova’s freshman players secured a victory in the second set. A kill from Petkovich and an ace served by Kim Maroon tied the score at 17, while a kill by Maggie Mergen put the ‘Cats ahead 20-18. Mergen served the set point with a 24-22 lead, and a kill by Petkovich secured the 25-22 victory for the team.

The third set was close, despite an early 10-5 USF lead. The Dons served with set points at 24-19, but the ‘Cats scored two more points before San Francisco finally won the set 25-21. In the fourth set, Villanova led 6-3, but USF went on two huge offensive runs of 11-4 and 12-4 to take the set 25-14 and the match 3-1. Graman again led the team in assists with 46. Those assists, along with her 10 digs, gave her a double-double on the match.

The last game of the weekend was a career match for a few members of the team, helping to secure a 3-1 victory against Sacramento State. Petkovich knotched a career-high 21 kills on the evening, while freshman Laurie McNamara’s 12 kills were also a career-best. Maroon’s recorded a career-high 17 digs. Mergen and Petkovich were named to the Big East honor roll on Monday for their performances

The team holds a 5-5 record heading into this weekend’s Villanova Classic at the Jake Nevin Field House.