VBALL: ‘Cats win two of three at La Salle Tournament

Kate McAvey

The volleyball team started the season on a positive note by taking two out of three games this Labor Day Weekend at the La Salle Tournament in the Tom Gola Arena. The ‘Cats had a rough start, falling just short against Northern Colorado in a 3-2 match on Aug. 29, but they were able to bounce back and quickly shut out Lafayette and Rider in two 3-0 sweeps on Aug. 30.

Three Wildcats finished the first game with double-figures. The Northern Colorado Bears took the first game 25-21, but the Wildcats responded fast, fighting back and forth in the second game to tie at 24. Villanova finally squeaked out two points to win the game 26-24. The team kept the winning streak going into the third game with a 25-21 victory by getting key kills from freshmen Laurie McNamara and Morgan Petkovich and senior Dana Tartazky. However, in the fourth game of the match, the ‘Cats were unable to catch the Bears. They started out slow and were never able to rebound, eventually falling 25-12. Villanova started the fifth game with a 5-3 lead, but in the end, the Bears reclaimed the lead and snatched the victory with a 15-10 win. Petkovich and Tartazky earned 12 kills each, with freshman Maggie Mergen right behind with 11 kills.

The second day of the tournament was a lot more successful for Villanova, as the team quickly shut out Lafayette. The Wildcats gained the lead and stayed ahead, resulting in a 25-18 victory. In the second game, Lafayette came out strong with an 11-8 lead, but after an 8-3 run, a kill by freshman Maria Nolan tied the game at 18. A strong 7-2 run at the end of the game enabled the ‘Cats to earn a hard-fought 25-20 victory. The team crushed the Leopards in the third game with key serves from McNamara and Mergen, bringing the match to a close with a 25-10 victory. Tartazky walked away with a team-high 11 kills, while junior Chelsea Graman earned 19 assists in the game.

The final game of the tournament was just as successful for the ‘Cats, as they beat Rider in three games. Villanova hit an impressive team .255 attack percentage, with seven team blocks. The Wildcats let the Broncos start off strong, as they built a 22-17 lead in the first game before the ‘Cats went on the attack and earned the 26-24 win on an important kill by Tartazky. The Wildcats were more in control in the second set, smashing 17 kills with only two errors and a .500 hitting percentage for the 25-15 win. The Wildcats pulled it out in the third game.

The team will take on national champion Penn State among with George Washington and Long Island at the Penn State University Tournament beginning Saturday at 8 p.m.