Volleyball: Wildcats edge Huskies in hotly contested match

David Cassilo

With eight wins in its first 12 games the volleyball team got ready for its first games of the Big East schedule this past weekend. It was evident it wouldn’t be a walk in the park as the team took on Connecticut and St. John’s, both of which had started the season on a roll.

First up for Villanova were the Huskies. Connecticut came in with a 9-3 record, but had lost two of its last three contests. The Wildcats managed an intense victory over the Connecticut Huskies in five games. After falling behind two games to none, Villanova rallied for a 3-2 victory. The entire team played well, but it was once again senior Alona Cherkez who led the way. Cherkez finished with 25 kills and 10 digs. Senior Kacy Sellers also performed well as she finished with 21 kills compared to only four errors.

Following the big win, the Wildcats were back in action just a day later against the No. 21-ranked women from St. John’s. The Red Storm has been strong all season and had a 16-2 record coming into the match against Villanova. The team was also in the midst of an impressive 21-game winning streak. Despite leading several times, the Wildcats fell in three sets. Cherkez and Sellers led the way offensively again with 16 and 14 kills, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Red Storm.

After splitting their first two Big East games of the season, the Wildcats will go on the road to face DePaul and Notre Dame this weekend.

“The road trip is going to be pretty important for us,” Head Coach John Steinbach said. “DePaul has a lot of freshmen, but they are all pretty talented, and Notre Dame should be fired up and ready to go coming off a tough loss.”

Both DePaul and Notre Dame have started the season with losing records, and if the Wildcats can continue to play at a high level on the road, they should be making some early noise in their Big East schedule.