09 Dec 2021 | 14:58 | Volleyball
Wildcats Down Quakers Behind Strong Team Attack
Four Wildcats record double-digit kills in win over Penn.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.-In their final match of the City Classic, the Villanova Wildcats took down the Penn Quakers in four sets with four Wildcats recording double-digit kills. The Wildcats improve to 8-4 while Penn drops to 3-6.
“Wins over Philly teams always means a lot,” Villanova Volleyball Head Coach Josh Steinbach said. “Big five matches matter to us and we’re excited to get those wins.”
The Wildcats and Quakers duked it out in the fourth set and traded leads five times. Leading 17-16, the Quakers went on a 3-0 run for a 20-16 lead, forcing a Villanova timeout. Villanova was able to cut the deficit to 20-18 but the Quakers kept their foot on the gas en route to a 25-21 first set victory.
The grittiest battle of the match came in the second set. Trailing 2-0 to open up the set, Penn responded with a 5-0 run to lead 5-2. The Wildcats continued to play catch-up until a pivotal moment in the match. Down 19-15, Villanova went on a 5-0 run to reclaim a 20-15 lead. From that point on, both teams continued to trade blows and tied each other eight times. In her first appearance of the season, Kathleen Johnson made an instant impact with four kills in that stretch including one to cement the 30-28 victory.
“Kathleen coming back helps us,” Steinbach said. “Her ability to keep things calm on the floor and make plays offensively can make a difference for us.”
Similar to the second set, the match was a close contest and with momentum shifting on both sides. Tied at 23, the Wildcats delivered two consecutive points to come out on top with a 25-23 set win.
The Wildcats continued to roll and dominated in the fourth set. After grabbing an early 8-2 lead, the Wildcats never relinquished the lead. Penn continued to chip away but couldn’t stop the Wildcats’ hot attack in a 25-19 Villanova set win and the match.
Andrea Campos was a key component in setting up the Wildcats’ kills with a career-high 46 assists in the win.
“Drea (Andrea) made us better today,” Steinbach said. “It’s nice to get a spark like that from off the bench.”
Freshman Rose Crist delivered a career-high 10 kills against Penn.
“I thought Rose really attacked well today,” Steinbach said. “She has moments where she can be very good and is improving.”
Inside The Box Score
Riley Homer led the Wildcats with 16 kills.
Four Wildcats recorded double-digit kills (Homer with 16, Kiera Booth with 13, Madeline Barber and Rose Crist with 10 each).
Booth totaled five blocks.
Averi Salvador collected 18 digs.