Marquette halts streaking ‘Cats in nail-biter

Tony Lovisa

The volleyball team traveled to Georgetown and Delaware before starting a four-match home-stand by hosting Syracuse and Marquette. After recording two wins on the road, the team started off on the right foot by continuing its success Saturday with a win over the Syracuse Orange before dropping a thrilling five-set match to the Marquette Golden Eagles.

The Wildcats (14-13, 6-5 Big East) came into the weekend with a two-game win streak after beating Georgetown and Delaware on the road. At Big East opponent Georgetown (7-16, 1-9 Big East), the women defeated the Hoyas in four games. After dropping the first game by a narrow three-point margin, the Wildcats won three straight games, the final in a dominating fashion, to finish the match 27-30, 30-16, 31-29, 30-12.

The women then traveled to Delaware (17-7, 8-6 CAA) to face the Blue Hens and came home with the victory. The teams split the first two games, each by narrow margins. The Wildcats then rallied to shut down the Blue Hens and win the next two games in a match lasting just over two hours. In the match, five ‘Nova players recorded double-digit kills and freshman Chelsea Graman had a team-high of 43 assists. The final scores were 30-26, 24-30, 30-25, 30-28.

The first match of the four-match home-stand couldn’t have started any better for the Wildcats. On Saturday, they dominated Big East rival Syracuse (11-20, 5-6 Big East) in the first two games with a consistent offensive attack. However, the Orange quickly rallied by increasing the level of its offensive play and beating the error-plagued Wildcats for a victory in the third game.

The fourth game seemed to be going as well as the first two for the ‘Nova women as they returned to their previously consistent form. However, after being down 23-28 in the game, the Orange rallied to within one point before the Wildcats shut out the match with scores of 30-18, 30-24, 25-30 and 30-27.

The Wildcats’ stats speak for themselves. Four players recorded double-digit kills, two recorded double-digit assists and three double-digit digs. Sophomore Alana Cherkez and junior Kacy Sellers recorded double-doubles with 14 and 13 kills and 13 and 10 digs, respectively. Graman also recorded a double-double with 30 assists and 11 digs.

On Sunday, the Wildcats hosted the Marquette Golden Eagles in a match that went five games and lasted almost 2 hours and 15 minutes. Villanova won the first game in a relatively calm fashion. The second game, however, was dominated by the Golden Eagles. After falling behind 2-9 early in the game, the Wildcats fought back to within three at 12-15 but were unable to remain consistent and lost the game.

The third game was even throughout with the score being tied 10 different times during the game. The Wildcats pulled ahead and were up by as many as four, until the Golden Eagles rallied to take the lead midway through the game. However, the Wildcats were able to fight back and hang on to win the game by two points.

After going up two games to one, the Wildcats were eager to put the match away, but were unable to hold on to their lead as the Golden Eagles fought back and tied it at two games each. In the final game, the Wildcats took an early lead and were winning until the last few points when the Golden Eagles pulled even and eventually closed out the match, winning by a mere two points, 15-13.

The Wildcats will play tomorrow at home against Big East opponent Seton Hall (14-12, 3-7 Big East). They will have a week off before traveling to rival UConn (16-9, 5-5 Big East) and St. John’s (25-1, 10-0 Big East) next weekend.