Volleyball Stuns No. 9 Creighton Amidst Winning Weekend


Villanova Athletics

Volleyball Stuns No. 9 Creighton Amidst Winning Weekend

Rylie Eisenhardt

The Wildcats’ volleyball team extended its win streak to seven games this weekend after a thrilling upset of No. 9 ranked Creighton (25-22, 25-16, 25-20) on Friday and a sound defeat of Providence (25-15, 25-18, 25-23) on Saturday. 

The Wildcats came into the weekend riding high momentum from having just won five straight matches, which were highlighted by senior setter Emma Decker becoming the program’s all-time total assist leader in last week’s win over Georgetown. This showed as the team handed Creighton its first Big East regular season loss since 2017 (31 matches) in straight sets. It was the Wildcats’ first win versus a ranked team this season and the first top-10 win of coach Josh Steinbach’s 13-year tenure. 

“We have been looking for a signature win all year long, and we finally got one,” Steinbach said. “Hopefully we can turn that into something coming down the stretch. It is better to be playing our best volleyball at the end of the year.”

Offensively, Villanova hit .333 for the match, but it was defense that sealed the win. The Wildcats held Creighton to hitting just .134, the Blue Jays’ second worst performance this season besides its loss to No. 7 Nebraska. 

Freshman right-side hitter Kathleen Johnson had yet another excellent offensive game, notching 13 kills on 18 attacks and a .667 hitting percentage. Senior duo Decker and Regan Lough also had dominant performances, with Decker recording 34 assists (11.3 assists/set) and Lough’s 20 digs supporting the defensive effort. 

The Wildcats regrouped the next day to take on Providence (6-21, 1-13). This match saw the return of sophomore right-side hitter Sanaä Barnes, who recorded a team high 10 kills at a .318 clip. Allie Olsonoski (nine kills) and Kathleen Johnson (eight kills) also posted strong offensive performances. Once again, Decker and Lough came up big for Villanova, with Decker posting 30 assists and 10 kills and Lough recording 20 digs. 

Villanova’s current seven match win streak is the longest for the program since 2015 and improves its record to 20-6 overall, 11-3 within the conference. The Wildcats will be back in action next weekend against DePaul and Marquette. They will meet DePaul in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 15th at 8:00 pm and travel to Milwaukee on Saturday to face No. 10 Marquette at 7 pm.