Volleyball Earns Two Important Victories at Home

The Villanova Wildcats were back in Jake Nevin this weekend to face Seton Hall and St. John’s. Villanova took down the Pirates on Friday in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, then beat the Red Storm on Saturday in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-8. 

Villanova came into the Seton Hall match having lost their last two games. 

The first set was a back and forth with five lead changes. The set was tied at 10-10, before Villanova went on a 4-1 run to take a 14-11 lead thanks to kills by sophomore middle blocker Madeline Barber and freshman outside hitter Rose Crist. Villanova was able to pull away, despite a couple of service errors and take the set 25-22 with three kills in the last five points.

The second set was a lot different than the first one. Seton Hall came out on a 12-2 run and had the ‘Cats playing catch up for the rest of the set. Villanova did come back though, going on a 9-2 run of their own to bring the score to 14-11 thanks to three aces. In the third giant run of the set, Seton Hall went on a 7-3 run, and although Villanova continued to push back, the lead was too much to overcome, as Seton Hall was able to hang on and win 25-21.

The third set started back and forth again, until Villanova went on a 5-1 strike to make the score 12-8. After that run, Seton Hall and ‘Nova would trade points until the ‘Cats went on another 5-0 run, including three straight aces from junior setter Belle Morgan. This allowed them to coast to the finish and take home the third set, 25-20. 

The fourth set was a series of 4-0 runs. ‘Nova went on one early in the set but was instantly brought back to the pack when Seton Hall had a run of their own, followed by yet another 4-0 run from the ‘Cats. Later in the set, ‘Nova led 23-19, but the Pirates went on a 4-0 run to tie the match. Villanova took the last two points of the set behind back-to-back kills from Crist and Homer to end the match 25-23, bringing the Wildcats’ record to 13-10.

Villanova was led by Homer with 15 kills and Morgan with 43 assists. 

St. John’s came into the game 14-11, having lost five of their previous seven.

The first set was close the whole way, with scores even at three separate points in the set. Despite rarely holding a lead in the set, Villanova was the team that finished strong, winning 25-22.

St John's took control of the second set early. Attack errors cost the Wildcats towards the end of this one, and St John's Giorgia Walther was able to finish it off 25-21. 

The third set was almost identical to the second set. St John's took an 11-6 lead early, and despite constant pressure from Villanova, never gave the lead back and finished the set 25-22. 

The fourth set was the game changer, and a set that will be looked back on as a set that might’ve changed the course of Villanova’s season. St John’s came out firing, ready to put the match away, and went on an 8-0 run to lead 10-4. After trading points, the Red Storm led 18-10, but the ‘Cats refused to quit, going on a 9-6 run of their own to win. 

In the fifth set, the Wildcats rode their momentum and capitalized on a clearly shocked Red Storm. Villanova put the set away with a 5-0 run behind a series of three kills from Homer and two aces from Salvador. A kill from Kathleen Johnson finished off an incredible come from behind victory, giving the ‘Cats a crucial Big East victory. 

Homer led ‘Nova with 16 kills in the match. 

Villanova improved to 14-10 on the season, 6-6 in Big East play, and now sit just a game behind Butler for the coveted fourth and final spot in the conference championships. The Wildcats go on the road next week to face 5-18 Georgetown and 17-7 UConn with an opportunity to capitalize on their newfound momentum.