Volleyball: Wildcats defend home court, win Villanova Classic

Jamie Augustinsky

The women’s volleyball team had an eventful Parents Weekend as it hosted the Villanova Classic on Friday and Saturday. With the help of some dominating performances, the Wildcats were able to overtake the other participants to become the ’07 Villanova Classic champions.

The ‘Cats began the weekend with two victories on Friday against Binghamton and Liberty. Victory over Binghamton came easy as Villanova swept the match by winning three straight games with scores of 30-19, 30-20 and 30-18. Senior Alona Cherkez had a double-double in the match with 15 kills and 12 digs, while junior Dana Tartazky was one dig shy of having a double-double herself, as she finished the match with 12 kills and nine digs. The defense of junior Emily Brown played an important role in the match as she finished with 16 digs.

After easily winning the first three games they played, the ‘Cats had their first scare of the day when Liberty attained a 30-20 victory in the first game of that match, but with the offensive help of Cherkez and senior Kacy Sellers, along with the defensive contribution of Brown, Villanova rebounded to take the next three games and the match. Cherkez totaled 27 kills in the match, and Sellers finished with 25, while Brown had 28 digs in the match.

The next day proved to be a bit more challenging for the ‘Cats, as both their matches went into five games. Villanova registered its first losing match of the tournament against Princeton with a score of 15-6 in the fifth game. This loss put the team in a critical position for its last match against William and Mary. If the ‘Cats wanted any chance to win the Classic, they would need to come out of this match victorious, and that is exactly what they did. This time, they would pick up the win in the fifth game by a score of 15-7, finishing in a three-way tie with Liberty and Princeton. Because of overall game records, however, the home team was named the ’07 Villanova Classic champions.

Cherkez’s outstanding play throughout the tournament not only landed her the tournament MVP award, but she also gained the honor of being named Big East player of the week. She leads the Big East in kills per game and finished the tournament with a remarkable 117 kills, 57 digs and three double-doubles. For the first time in her career, Cherkez topped 30 kills in a single match, not once but twice, with 31 against Princeton and 30 over William and Mary. Sellers, who had 17 kills and four blocks against Princeton and 18 kills and 4 blocks against William and Mary, was also named to the All-Tournament Team, while Emily Brown’s defense earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team, as she finished with 12 digs against Princeton and 28 against William and Mary. The 8-4 Wildcats will be back in action on Sept. 22, when they will host the Huskies of the University of Connecticut at 2 p.m.