Volleyball falters against UConn, dominates St. John’s

Pat Griffin

The women’s volleyball team notched its second Big East win on Sunday against St. John’s Red Storm for its first conference win since Oct. 12.

The win comes during what has been a tough month for the ’Cats, who are currently 3-6 in October.

’Nova has struggled losing both heartbreakers and blowouts on the way to its current 12-15 record (2-6 Big East) after starting out the season 9-7.

With this important win, the Wildcats are still keeping alive faint postseason hopes.

If they can play strong and win some games in their remaining five Big East matches, they have a good chance of qualifying for the Big East Tournament in Pittsburgh.

In the match against St. John’s, the Wildcats dominated the show, beating the Storm in straight sets 30-20, 30-23 and 30-19.

The offense was led by senior Erin Birunas, who notched 12 kills, and sophomore Kerri Sullivan with 14 kills.

Jenny Badran-Grycan helped out defensively with 10 digs and also contributed offensively with 25 assists, while junior Jennifer Edwards added 14 assists and six digs.

The ’Cats hit .327 as opposed to St. John’s percentage of .090 and outplayed them 50 to 30 in kills on the day.

Jackie Ahlers led St. John’s with 13 kills and eight digs as the team fell to 16-11.

Last Friday, the ’Cats traveled to Storrs, Conn., to play another conference match, this time against UConn.

But the Wildcats were on the losing side at the end of this match as they lost in straight sets to the Huskies.

Villanova’s offense looked weak in the game, as the only bright spot was Sullivan with her 14 kills.

Instead, the Wildcats relied and mostly showed their defensive prowess with Matthews, Edwards, Badran-Grycan and freshman Celine Nguyen all notching double digit marks in digs.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the Huskies also came to play on defense, with four of their own players with digs in the double digits, as well as two players in double digit kills to complement their defensive effort.

The loss, which was by scores of 24-30, 25-30 and 28-30, improved UConn to 9-12 on the season and 4-2 in the Big East.

After this Wednesday’s home game, the Wildcats play in the Jake Nevin Field House Nov. 9 at 2 p.m against Providence.

The Wildcats will take on another Big East foe in Boston College on Sunday at home.

The team’s play over the weekend will be crucial in terms of its hopes for a postseason berth.

Matches against Big East teams Boston College, Seton Hall and Rutgers will put this team to the test in the homestretch.