Wildcats win Comcast Lobo Tournament

Kyle Scudilla

Villanova’s women’s volleyball team dominated the field at the Comcast Lobo Tournament, winning three consecutive matches in shutouts. The Wildcats knocked off the tournament’s host team, New Mexico, in the championship, and improved to a record of 5-0 on the season.

The sweep against New Mexico was the high point in a very impressive showing for the Wildcats early in the season. They beat the Lobos by margins of 30-24, 30-23, and 30-24 in the three games to come away with the top prize. All-Tournament team honoree freshman Alona Cherkez led the team in the final match with 19 kills and eight digs. Tournament MVP and All-Tournament team member junior Adrian Semrau compiled 11 kills, as did teammate Kacy Sellers. Sellers hit .529 for the match, while Cherkez posted a .409 hitting percentage. Junior Jenna Link provided 47 of the Wildcats’ 51 assists.

Villanova hit .311 as a team for the entire tournament and had some excellent individual efforts. Cherkez led the team with 38 kills, while MVP Semrau had 31 kills and had a .393 hitting percentage. For their efforts, both Adrian Semrau and Alona Cherkez were named to the Big East’s weekly honor roll. Semrau made her second consecutive appearance on the honor roll while Cherkez, last week’s conference Rookie of the Week, attained her first honor roll appearance.

In earlier tournament matches, Villanova ousted Lamar and Northern Arizona to reach the finals. Like the championship match, the Wildcats won each of the first two matches via a sweep. In the first round, Villanova defeated the Lamar Lady Cardinals by scores of 30-16, 30-17, and 31-29. Semrau helped lead the way with 11 kills on 19 attempts and no errors to hit a match-high .579. Setter Jenna Link had 28 assists and a .500 hitting percentage, while outside hitter Kelly Ludwig was also impressive, hitting .385 against Lamar. Celine Nguyen had five digs during the match, which put her within reach of 1,000 for her career.

Nguyen then recorded her 1,000th career dig in the match against Northern Arizona, as the Wildcats won 3-0. Nguyen recorded 12 digs and 11 kills in the decisive victory for Villanova. The game scores were 30-14, 30-27, 30-18. The win marked Villanova’s fourth straight to start the year. Alona Cherkez turned in another excellent showing, posting a double-double of 15 kills and 13 digs. The third Wildcat in double figures for kills was senior Dana Kabashima, who had 10 kills and hit a match-best .474. Kacy Sellers had four service aces, while Jenna Link contributed 45 of the team’s 48 assists. For the match, Villanova out-hit the Lumberjacks .277 to .111.