After split over break, ‘Cats improve to .500

Tony Lovisa

Fall break held much excitement for the Villanova women’s volleyball team as they recorded wins against Lehigh and Big East rivals Rutgers, after falling to Cincinnati and Louisville. The women improved to 4-3 in the Big East and 11-11 overall.

The opening weekend of the break was disappointing for the team as they traveled to play Big East opponents Cincinnati (13-5, 4-3 Big East) and Louisville (13-6, 6-1 Big East). The Cincinnati Bearcats shut down the Wildcats in straight sets, 30-21, 30-20, 30-25. The next day, the Louisville Cardinals also out-maneuvered the Wildcat women in straight sets, 30-19, 30-24, 30-27, despite Villanova’s continual improvement throughout the match.

The team played against Lehigh (0-19) during the week. Both teams were eager for a win, since Villanova come into the match following two shut-out losses and Lehigh had yet to win a match. The first set was dominated by the Wildcat women with a score of 30-14. However, the next four sets would go back and forth and be decided by a total of only nine points. In the end, the Wildcats won in five grueling sets, proving to be too much for the Mountain Hawks. The final score was 30-14, 29-31, 30-28, 27-30, 16-14.

On the final Saturday of fall break, the Wildcats played host to Rutgers’ Scarlet Knights (5-12, 2-5), but not for long. The ‘Cats recorded their sixth shutout of the season in a match that lasted only one hour and 14 minutes. Senior Kelly Ludwig and sophomore Alona Cherkez led the way, combining for a total 21 kills and five blocks. From the final score of 30-21, 30-21, 30-16 to the attack percentage of .275 to .057, the ‘Cat’s dominance was apparent throughout the entire match.

The women look to continue their success this week as they travel along the East coast. During the weekend, they play at Big East opponents University of South Florida on Friday and Georgetown before facing the University of Delaware Blue Hens on Wednesday.