Wildcats Fall to Blue Demons in Five-Set Slugfest

09 Dec 2021 | 14:54 | Volleyball

CHICAGO, IL.-Entering Friday night’s match, Villanova had a chip on their shoulder after being swept by DePaul at home in September. The Wildcats (15-14, 7-10 BIG EAST) were hungry for a win and went the distance with the Blue Demons (18-11, 11-6 BIG EAST) but fell short in the fifth set.

The Wildcats delivered the first jab of the night with a first set win. Trailing 18-14, Villanova went on a 7-1 run fueled by a pair of kills from Kiera Booth for a 21-19 lead. The Blue Demons were able to tie it at 21 but a clutch 4-0 run by Villanova sealed the 25-21 first set victory.

Entering the second set, DePaul kept their foot on the gas against the Wildcats. Leading 17-11, the Blue Demons went on an 8-0 run to win the second set, 25-11. As a team, DePaul recorded a .520 attack percentage.

The Wildcats countered with a scorching hot .593 team attack percentage in the third set. Barnes and Kathleen Johnson combined for eight kills to headline the team’s hot hitting. After reaching their largest lead of 21-14, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Villanova. Despite a late bid by DePaul to cut the deficit to 23-19, the Wildcats were able to stave them off with a 25-20 third set win, giving them the 2-1 advantage in the match.

The Blue Demons found their rhythm and were able to separate themselves from the Wildcats in the fourth set. Leading 7-6, DePaul went on a 4-0 run and didn’t relinquish their lead from that point on for a 25-18 fourth set win. Hanna Karl led DePaul with five kills.

In the final set of the match, both teams fought tooth and nail with momentum shifting constantly with 12 ties and five lead changes. After a kill from Barnes tied it at 13, Karl countered with one of her own in the Blue Demons favor for a 14-13 lead. Clare Delaplane responded with a kill for Villanova to tie it at 14 which meant that DePaul needed to score two consecutive points in order to win the match. After a service error from Delaplane, Jill Pressly hit pay dirt with a kill for a DePaul five-set match victory.

Inside the Box Score
Barnes led the Wildcats with a season-high 13 kills.
Riley Homer (12) and Delaplane (10) combined for 22 kills.
Belle Morgan (24) and Andrea Campos (23) combined for 47 assists.

The Wildcats will compete in their final match of the regular season at Marquette on Saturday, November 20 with first serve at 7:00 PM.

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