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Volleyball Goes 1-1 on the Week

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Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography
The Wildcats are now .500 in the Big East.

This past week, the Villanova Wildcats played two Big East home games at Jake Nevin Field House. Going 1-1, the ‘Cats are now 9-4 overall and 6-6 in the Big East.

They defeated Georgetown on Wednesday and lost to No. 17 Creighton University on Friday.

On Oct. 26, the ‘Cats defeated the Hoyas, 3-0, at Jake Nevin (25-20, 25-14, 25-18).

The starting lineup consisted of senior middle blocker Madeline Barber, senior middle blocker Kiera Booth, senior outside hitter Riley Homer, freshman outside hitter Abby Harrell, sophomore outside hitter Skylar Gerhardt, senior setter Andrea Campos and senior libero Taryn Whittingham. In the last matchup against the Hoyas, Villanova beat them in four sets. This time around, during their annual Dig Pink Cancer Awareness Match, the ‘Cats had a clean sweep in a relatively quick game.

Campos led the way with 28 assists for the night and four aces. Whittingham and Campos tied each other at 15 digs. Barber, along with Homer had a matched block count with a total of five across the three fast-paced sets. For the 14th game in a row, freshman Abby Harrell led the team in kill-count with 16.

“I think we played well,” head coach Josh Steinbach said, postgame. “I think we served and passed well and if we do those things in our gym, we’re tough to beat.”

On Oct. 29, the Wildcats suffered a tough loss against Creighton, losing in straight sets for the second time in two weeks against the Bluejays (15-25, 8-25, 15-25). The past five years the Bluejays have been a tough team to beat, as the ‘Cats are 1-9 in the past 10 matchups. Villanova’s last win against Creighton was in November of 2019. The most recent matchup was a quick and hard defeat for the ‘Cats, only lasting 75 minutes on the court for the three sets.

Gerhardt briefly overpowered the Bluejays with eight kills and three aces. For the second game in a row, Campos led her team in assists with 21. Homer showed off her commanding skills with a season high of five kills. Whittingham gave her team 12 digs as the team libero and defensive specialist. Booth closed out the night with a total of five blocks. The Wildcats’ efforts weren’t enough to triumph over the nationally-ranked Bluejays.

“The great thing about team sports is that we have a whole bunch of players that don’t always play that are very valuable,” Steinbach said, when asked about utilizing players in different roles across the floor. “Even though our roles are different, the value of our team is the same.”

The team has a few days off before it travels to its next match. The Wildcats will take on Butler in Indianapolis at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

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