Volleyball prepares for Big East

Stephen Buszka

By Stephen BuszkaSports Editor

The Villanova volleyball team headed to Lexington, Ky., this past week looking to improve upon their performance in the Spartan Invitational where they recorded their first match win of the season. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they ran into stiff competition against Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Toledo and were unable to pull out a win.In their first match of the weekend, the Wildcats had trouble getting started against the solid Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. After falling in a close 31-29 game, the ‘Cats dropped the next game of the match by a score of 30-23. Finding themselves in a 2-0 hole, the team managed to pull out a decisive game three victory. The Wildcats showed a flash of brilliance with a team .455 hitting percentage in game three which outdid Georgia Tech’s .031. The result of this disparity was a 30-16 win. “That game was special and made us believe that no matter what team we are playing against, we are good enough to win it,” sophomore Alona Cherkez said. However, the momentum built up from game three’s drubbing was not enough to carry the ‘Cats the rest of the way through the match as they lost the fourth game by a 30-26 margin.”I felt like, maybe, we had to push a bit more at the end so we could take last two or three points,” Cherkez said. “But that is fine, it just proves us that we are close to what we should do and what our coach is expecting from us.”The struggles continued for the Wildcats in their second match on Friday. After falling to Georgia Tech 3-1, ‘Nova couldn’t hold their own against the dominant Kentucky Wildcats. ‘Nova fell in three straight games by scores of 30-21, 30-21 and 30-15. No one on the team recorded double-digit kills or digs and the team only managed to put up 27 and 28 respectively. The Villanova offense was also hindered significantly by 23 attack errors.The next morning the Wildcats did not fare any better. The Toledo Rockets provided Villanova with their sixth 3-0 sweep of the season. Toledo started off the match with a definitive 30-21 victory in the first game following that up with 31-29 and 30-26 wins. The tough matches did not discourage the team.”All of the teams we were playing against are top 20 to 30, maybe 40 teams in nation,” Cherkez said. “The purpose of the games was to prepare us for the season, mentally and physically.” Villanova will look to pick up their second win this weekend in the Villanova Tournament this Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats will be hosting Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and UM-Baltimore Country.