‘Cats continue to thrive and survive

Michael Zipf

This past week, the Villanova women’s volleyball team continued to build upon their quest to reach the Big East playoffs. The team recorded victories over Big East rival Seton Hall and the fighting Blue Hens of the University of Delaware improving their record to 19-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big East.

Although the team posted two victories this week, head coach Gilad Doron still believes that his team has room for improvement and needs to continue to learn from their mistakes.

“I am proud of our team’s ability to find a way to win even when we are not playing our best,” Doran said, “but down the stretch we need to have better ball control and pass better.”

Nevertheless, the Wildcats did show perseverance, determination and flashes of brilliance necessary to be a force in the Big East Tournament.

On Oct. 23rd the Wildcats recorded a victory over Big East opponent Seton Hall. After splitting the first two games, with the Wildcats winning the first game 30-28 and the Pirates winning the second 24-30, the Wildcats dominated the last two games en route to the 3-1 victory.

In the first two games, especially in the second game, the Wildcats seemed to be a little impatient and were failing to execute on their outside hits.

Doron said, “We needed to play with more patience and have a better hit percentage from the outside.”

Although the Wildcats stumbled at first and failed to be effective in all facets of the game, the Wildcats successful serving played a vital role in the team’s victory. Villanova recorded a season high 16 service aces, which, along with their .450 and .447 shot percentage in the third and fourth games, helped propel the Wildcats to the victory.

The Wildcats almost had five players in double figures with freshman Alona Cherkez leading the team in kills and digs with a career best 22 kills and 18 digs. In addition, junior Adrian Sermrau’s record 18 kills on 34 attempts led the team with .412 hit percentage, while senior Celine Nguyen added 17 kills and four service aces. Ultimately, the team was able to outlast and outplay the Pirates to record their 18th victory on the season and 6th victory in Big East play.

This past Tuesday on Oct. 25th the Wildcats captured their 19th victory of the season, defeating Delaware. The Wildcats used solid play in the third game to regain the momentum of the match, which helped lead the Wildcats to the 3-1 victory.

When asked how important it was for his team to come out strong in the third game, coach Doron responded, “It was critical for us to come out strong. If we were not able to win that third game we might not have won the match.”

After barely winning the first game 32-31 and losing the second game 29-26, the Wildcats came out strong in the third game. The Wildcats raced out to an 11-5 lead on a set dump by junior Jenna Link and never looked back the rest of the game, winning 30-20.

The fourth game consisted of back and forth play with Delaware forcing nine ties after falling down 4-1. The turning point of the 4th game occurred after the Wildcats took an 18-16 lead. The Wildcats connected on a four point run, which included a kill and a service ace from senior outside hitter Dana Kabashima, and a kill off a block by freshman outside hitter Alona Cherkez, to give the Wildcats a 22-16 lead.

From this point on, the Wildcats were able to serve their way to a victory, winning the fourth and final game 30-23. The Wildcats next travel to face Big East opponent Marquette on Oct. 28.