‘Nova has Strong Weekend at Villanova Volleyball Classic

Nova has Strong Weekend at Villanova Volleyball Classic


‘Nova has Strong Weekend at Villanova Volleyball Classic

Mary Kaitlin Enright

This past weekend, Villanova’s women’s volleyball team hosted its home opener Villanova Classic Tournament at Jake Nevin Field House to kick off a strong start to their 2018 home season. The tournament hosted three visiting teams: Utah, High Point, and Temple. Villanova played three games finishing the weekend with a 2-1 record in the tournament, and an expanse of impressive play.

Villanova faced Utah on Friday. With a No. 21 ranking, the Utes managed to take the first set 25-20 after holding a 20-12.

Mallory Potts, a sophomore outside hitter, led the way with fourteen kills throughout the match, five of which she came in the second set.

Potts was supplemented by the team’s highly talented setter, Emma Decker, a 6’3 junior who showcased her season-high 49 assists throughout the match.

Gaining a 20-13 lead in this second set, the Wildcats went on to win, 25-20.

Utah took the third set, 25-16, but that did not deter the Wildcats from making a comeback in this thrilling match which had the stands on the edge of their seats.

It was in the fourth and fifth sets that the Wildcats kicked into full gear. Freshmen Sanaä Barnes (right side hitter) and Clare Delaplane (outside hitter) displayed their power on the court with a game-changing four kills in the fourth set and two kills in the fifth set, respectively. With 25-22 and 15-7 final scores on these two sets, Villanova took the victory in their home-opener, winning the match 3-2.

Coming in hot off their opening win, the Wildcats stepped onto the court for their next match against High Point on Saturday. An adept opponent, HPU proved its skill from the first set, defeating Villanova in a 25-22 game.

The second set was one of excitement and turns, as the two teams wrestled for the lead. Eventualy, High Point grabbed the advantage, and unable to recover, the Wildcats lost this second set at a score of 25-16.

Villanova fought hard through the third and final set of the match, taking a strong lead to open. The Panthers came back strong though, and closed the set (25-19).

Regardless of this defeat mid-tournament, freshman Clare Delaplane led the kill board in their match against HPU, with eight kills and one ace.

Nova’s final game of the tournament took place on Sunday at Temple, a city rival. In this intense match, the Temple Owls won first set, 25-21.

But the Wildcats, unflappable, won next set. The two teams crept through the game, each managing to make small leads and ties throughout the set. With a seven point run, however, Villanova triumphed to win the second set of the match.

After a second set comeback, Villanova quickly established itself in the third, at one point managing a 20-9 lead, the largest of the game. Due largely to their impressive team coordination and exceptional block skill at the net, they took the set 25-18. Six blocks were on the books for this set, showcasing the Wildcats precision against the Owls’ offense. 

In the fourth and final set, the rivals attacked with fire and determination, resulting in fierce competition throughout. The game was back-and-forth, lighting up the stands with excitement. Hot off a six point run, Villanova controlled the game towards the end, though, and concluded the Villanova Classic with a set win (25-19) that closed the match 2-1.

The All-Tournament team featured Villanova’s Emma Decker,. Throughout the tournament, she had 107 assits, making her a game-changing player of the weekend.

Both the win over Utah and over Temple were momentous for the team as they opened up their home court this past weekend.  The tournament’s results are sure to be an indicator of the coming success of this 2018 season.

Villanova heads to New Orleans this coming weekend for the Sugar Bowl tournament. The ‘Cats return home on Sept. 19 at 7:00 to face Seton Hall.