Wildcats blow past Red Storm

Courtney Scrib

The situation was all too familiar for the women’s volleyball team last Sunday afternoon. Heading into the third game at Alumni Hall, the Wildcats found themselves in a two game deficit against an aggressive St. John’s team. Despite being down, Villanova was by no means out.

Led by the powerful duo of sophomore Adrian Semrau and freshman Kacy Sellers, the ‘Cats rallied back to win the next three games, and the match (23-30, 31-33, 30-28, 30-23, 15-11). It was the first match the team has won this season after losing the first game.

“This was another game where you have to give the girls credit,” Coach Gilad Doron said. “They could have easily folded in and gone home, but instead they ended up winning the match.”

Before making their comeback, the Wildcats faced a slow start and recorded 17 hitting errors in the first two games. However, once the players settled down, they began capitalizing on the Storm’s mistakes, and only committed 13 total errors during the final three games.

“The key to coming back in the third game was truly just our determination to play at a higher level and with more desire, both of which made the win that much sweeter,” Semrau, who had her fourth 20 plus kill game of the season, said.

Once again Semrau and her middle setter teammate Sellers played decisive roles in the ‘Cats 3-2 victory. Together they combined for 6.5 of Villanova’s season-high 13.0 total blocks, 56 kills and 65.5 of the team’s 99 points.

In addition to Semrau and Sellers, who had her second double-double of the season, sophomore Jen Lalli and senior Katie Lanting also displayed personal-best performances. Lalli recorded 57 assists, while Lanting finished the match with a season-high seven blocks.

According to Doron, what made this match even more “amazing” was the fact Villanova ranked lower in almost every statistic than St. John’s yet was able to force its opponent to commit enough errors to come away with the victory.

“We started off slow and sloppy but were able to refocus and do something right,” Doron said. “Sometimes we’re not patient, but we need to be there as long as it takes to win the game.”

The team’s stamina will be tested again as the ‘Cats host Big East rival Seton Hall tonight at the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse. During Sunday’s home game against Rutgers, in what will be the team’s last game of the season, Villanova will honor its graduating players in a Senior Day ceremony.

“We’ve been working very hard all season and right now we just want to go out and play with the intensity we’ve developed in practice,” Semrau said. “I have very high hopes to take these last two matches and help the seniors finish their careers on a high note.”

By defeating the Red Strom, Villanova improved to an 8-17 overall record and 2-6 in conference action. Unfortunately, even if the Wildcats win both games this weekend, they will not qualify for the Big East tournament.

Coach Doron believes his players, who have continuously shown the energy and desire to win, have no reason to feel ashamed, especially considering the circumstances they faced this year with injuries, changes and loss of players.

“Obviously, they are disappointed, but they should feel good about what they accomplished this season,” Doron said. “Each player improved so much, and hopefully, the fruit for us will come in the future.”