Win over Hoyas marks third straight for volleyball

Pat Griffin

The women’s volleyball team came from behind to notch two emotional victories in a row, one against Princeton on Oct. 30 and another Big East rival Georgetown last Saturday.

In both matches, the Wildcats lost the first two sets, but then won the next three to win.

With the wins, the team improved to 14-15 overall and 3-6 in the conference.

Due to her exemplary play in those matches, freshman Celine Nguyen earned Co-Big East Rookie of the week honors.

Nguyen had 27 kills, 32 digs, and only six errors during the stretch. This accomplishment comes after she had missed the first half of the season due to injury.

The latest victory, against Georgetown, was the team’s third in a row. ’Nova defeated the Hoyas by scores of 27-30, 20-30, 30-22, 30-26 and 15-10.

Nguyen led the way with a double-double in which she had 15 kills and 17 digs.

Sophomores Kerri Sullivan and Katie Lanting and senior Erin Birunas all had double digit kill totals, while Jenny Badran-Grycan also had a double-double with 33 assists and 10 digs.

Lauren Warner had a good game for Georgetown in the losing effort with 22 kills and 20 digs.

The match against Princeton was all Tigers in the beginning.

They got off to a quick 10-2 lead in the first off a series of ’Nova errors, but the ’Cats, after quietly eating away at their lead, rallied back to tie it up at 21.

However, Princeton showed resolve and bounced back to take the game 30-22.

The second set saw the teams battle it out, trading points back and forth.

It was a closely contested set with vicious spikes and well placed hits. With the score at 14-11 in favor of the Tigers, boths teams seemed to be able to pull out the win.

After calling a timeout, ’Nova went on a small run to make it 16-16, capped by a Sullivan kill. Nguyen then finished another long rally with a kill as the ’Cats gained a 28-27 edge.

After the Wildcats blew a set point, the score was tied at 30-30. However, the ’Cats could not hold on and eventually lost the set 32-30 heading to the locker room having been dealt a big blow by Princeton.

However, it didn’t seem to shake their confidence but rather inspired them to jump out to a 9-4 lead in the third, as the Tigers chased their own missed hits all over the place and tried to pick up ’Nova spikes from their knees. ’Nova had a dominating set win, 30-15.

In the fourth, it was anyone’s match as ’Nova attempted to use its momentum and push a fifth set, while Princeton sought to slow things down and control the game.

It was close at the start, but on a huge block, the Wildcats took a 16-10 lead.

The final match was intense, however the ’Cats were again the tougher team in the clutch, edging out Princeton to win it convincingly, 30-21.

The fifth set was no different from the rest of the match, as it was close the entire way, while at one point reaching a 14-14 tie that made for an exciting set. Both teams played hard, allowing little room for error.

In the end, however, ’Nova finally won it 19-17 in front of their fans at the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse.

The Wildcats will look to add more wins to what has become an impressive improvement from last season when they face Big East rivals Providence and Boston College this weekend.