Volleyball: Drought vs. Irish ends

Jamie Augustinsky

By Jamie Augustinsky

Staff Reporter

The volleyball team picked up two Big East wins this weekend, including a 3-0 sweep of DePaul and a 3-2 win over Notre Dame, which snapped a 16-game losing streak for the ‘Cats against the Fighting Irish.

At DePaul on Saturday afternoon, junior outside hitter Dana Tartazky led the ‘Cats with a double-double with 10 kills and a team-high 14 digs.

Senior outside hitter Alona Cherkez helped the offense with a game-high 18 kills, while the defense of sophomore outside hitter Amy Gulyas, who also had a team-leading 14 digs, contributed to the winning effort. The 43 assists from sophomore setter Chelsea Graman helped the Wildcats in their sweep of the Blue Demons.

On Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats had history against them as they traveled to Indiana to take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The Irish entered the game with a mediocre record of 6-7.

Villanova was 0-16 against Notre Dame in volleyball, and this dated back nearly 25 years to Oct. 25, 1982. The matchup was a battle to the end. Notre Dame took game one by a score of 30-21, but the ‘Cats bounced right back to two back-to-back victories in games two and three by scores of 31-29 and 30-27, respectively. The Fighting Irish won game four by a score of 30-22 and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in game five, but the Wildcats fought hard to stay in the game and won the decisive match by a score of 17-15.

Tartazky had another double-double in this game with 15 kills and 10 digs, while Cherkez led the team with a double-double of her own as she had 26 kills and 24 digs. Gulyas kept up her strong defensive play in this game as she recorded 18 digs, while Graman had a season-high 70 assists and also had 11 digs in the game.

With the victory, the Wildcats improved to 11-6 for the season with a 3-1 record against Big East opponents.

“This was a huge win for our program,” Head Coach Josh Steinbach told Villanova.com.

The team will be back in action this weekend and will try to pick up two more Big East wins. They will travel to Morgantown, W. Va., to take on the Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon and will go to Pittsburgh on Sunday to play the Panthers.