VBALL: Wildcats sweep weekend tournament

Jamie Augustinsky

The volleyball team hosted the fourth annual Villanova Classic tournament last weekend, with a dominating showing from the Wildcats. The host team was perfect, sweeping all three opponents 3-0.

On Sept. 19, the ‘Cats opened up their home play with a win against Bucknell. In the first set, ‘Nova trailed 9-8, but senior Kaela Frizzell scored four consecutive points. The score was knotted up again at 20, but the ‘Cats pulled through to take the set 25-22.

After starting 7-7 in the second set, it was all Villanova. The team had a .455 attack percentage in the set and won 25-16. The third set was close at first and was tied at 9-9, but the ‘Cats went on a 5-0 run to pull ahead. Senior Emily Brown served the final four points as Villanova went on a 5-2 run to take the set and the match. Senior Dana Tartazky tallied 17 kills and hit .353 in the match, while junior Chelsea Graman had 33 assists. Frizzell tied her career-high in digs with 10.

The team played the La Salle Explorers on Sept. 20, and ‘Nova’s freshmen led the way in this match. In the first set, the team trailed 16-15, but came back to lead 22-19. Freshman Maggie Mergen served the final three points of the frame as the ‘Cats posted a 25-19 victory. The team ended the second frame with two straight service aces from junior Amy Gulyas and a kill by Mergen to seal the win 25-17. Freshman Courtney Oertli served for five points in the third frame, as the ‘Cats gained an early 8-1 lead, and freshman Kara Chatham served the final three points to give the ‘Cats a 25-12 victory and ensure the 3-0 sweep over the Explorers. Freshman Morgan Petkovich notched 12 kills with a hitting percentage of .412, while Mergen totaled 10 kills and hit .409. Oertli had 17 assists on the afternoon, and Kim Maroon had a career-high 19 digs. Villanova hit .340 in the match while holding La Salle to a .107 attack percentage.

The 3-0 sweep over Penn later that evening kept the ‘Cats’ win streak alive at four games. In the first set, Villanova finished with a 5-1 run to earn the 25-17 victory. The team saw some trouble early in the second set, as it fell behind 4-0, but after a timeout to regroup, the ‘Cats went on a 5-1 run. A 4-2 run gave the team its first lead at 9-8. The two teams continued to trade leads, but a kill by Graman secured the 25-22 victory for the ‘Cats. The third set was all Villanova, as the Wildcats scored first and never trailed. Although Penn stayed in the game to tie the score at 11 and again at 14, a 7-2 run by ‘Nova and a kill by freshman Laurie McNamara sealed the 21-16 win. Maroon tallied 21 digs on the evening, and Tartazky had 11 kills. Mergen also tallied 11 kills with an attack percentage of .409. Graman posted a double-double and a match-high 38 assists.

Wildcats made up the majority of the All-Tournament Team, as three Villanova players were selected. Maroon, Graman and Mergen received the honor, while Maroon was named the Tournament MVP. She finished the weekend with an average 6.22 digs per set. Villanova’s record improved to 8-5 on the season after the 3-0 performance this weekend.

The team will open Big East play on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Panthers at home.