Villanova Sweeps #12 Creighton, Keeps Big East Tournament Hopes Alive

  0 Wendy Mayer | November 17th, 2017 | Big East, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • Villanova def. Creighton 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-20)
  • Villanova moved 17-11, 10-7 Big East; Creighton falls 22-6, 15-2Big East
  • Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Attendance: 278
  • Box Score

With a share of the Big East title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament already under wraps, No. 12 Creighton stumbled on the road, falling via sweep to Villanova on Friday night.

With the win, Villanova is now tied for fourth in the Big East race, with the top four teams set to earn a conference tournament berth. The loss snaps an 11-match win streak for the Bluejays.

Villanova hit at a .304 clip in the match and outdid Creighton 49-40 in kills and 4-2 in aces. The Bluejays won the block 3-2.

Senior outside hitter Allie Loitz and junior middle blocker Amanda Pedersen-Henry paced the Villanova effort with 12 kills apiece, while junior outside Darcy Wolf (9) and sophomore outside Remy Fairchild (8) followed. Loitz finished off a double-double with 10 digs, while senior libero Allison Fitzgerald notched a team-best 21 saves.

Junior outside Jaali Winters was the lone Bluejay in double-digits with 14 kills to go with 11 digs. Sophomore middle Megan Ballenger added eight kills on a team-best .350 hitting effort and two blocks. Senior middle Marysa Wilkinson followed with seven putaways, while junior libero Samantha Bohnet managed a team-best 15 digs.

After a tie at 5-all, Villanova pulled away with a 6-1 run and went on to a six-point edge at 16-10. Three Creighton errors, three Loitz kills and and two by Pedersen-Henry contributed to the Wildcat rally. Down 21-15, Creighton called timeout and narrowed the gap to two at 22-20. Ballenger and Winters added kills and a pair of VU miscues aided the Bluejay cause. Wolf downed a pair of putaways to close out the 25-21 Villanova win.

Creighton rebounded to score five of the first six points in Set 2 and went on to an 8-3 advantage before Villanova rallied. The Wildcats chipped away at tied the score at 10 and 11 before taking the lead at 12-11. Fairchild notched three kills in the surge. Later, trailing 17-15, Creighton scored three in a row, two on Villanova errors, to grab an 18-17 edge. The Wildcats countered and took a 23-21 lead with an ace by Fitzgerald and kills by Pedersen-Henry and Loitz. A pair of Kloth kills knotted the score at 23. Loitz put Villanova on the hill at 24-23, but a hitting error leveled the teams at 24. A Fairchild putaway and a solo block by Emma Decker sealed the 26-24 Wildcat win.

Villanova raced out to an 13-4 lead in Set 3 and never looked back, never allowing Creighton closer than two the rest of the way. Three Loitz kills, two by Pedersen-Henry and three Bluejay miscues gave the Wildcats the nine-point lead. down six at 16-10, Creighton had help from three errors to narrow the gap to two at 18-16. A Bohnet ace kept the Bluejays close at 20-18. A Fairchild kill and three Creighton miscues made it 24-19 and a service error clinched the sweep.


Villanova Athletics

Amanda Pedersen-Henry (Murrieta, Calif.) and Allie Loitz (Bonita, Calif.) had 12 kills each in Villanova’s 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-20) upset over #13 Creighton. This victory puts the Wildcats one win away from reaching the BIG EAST tournament with one game to play against Providence tomorrow night.

Set 1:

The first set started out even with the teams getting out to a 5-5 tie. Villanova started to gain some momentum after a couple Creighton errors and kills from Amanda Pedersen-Henry and Remy Fairchild (Southlake, Texas) to force a Bluejays timeout leading 10-6. Out of the timeout, the Wildcats continued to roll extending that lead to 16-10 after back to back kills from Darcy Wolf (Allentown, Pa.) and Allie Olsonoski (New Orleans, La.).  The Bluejays got in back within three at 17-14, but Villanova scored two straight to regain a five point lead. Emma Decker had a pair of kills to force a timeout by Creighton at 21-15, but the Bluejays got it back within three again at 21-18. Villanova was able to hold strong at the end of the match and pull out a 25-21 victory after two kills from Wolf.

Set 2:

Creighton took away the Wildcats momentum to start the set getting out to an 8-3 lead forcing an early Villanova timeout. Out of the Timeout the Wildcats got back to back kills from Allie Loitz and Olsonoski to trail 8-5. They eventually tied the score at 10 after two kills from Fairchild and gained their first lead of the set at 12-11. The teams tied at 12, 13, 14 and 15 before Villanova took a 17-15 lead after another kill from Olsonoski and a Creighton attack error. The Bluejays took a timeout and were able to score three straight points out of the timeout to regain an 18-17 lead. The teams tied again at 18, 19 and 20 before two straight scores from the Wildcats gave them a 22-20 lead. Creighton battled back to 23-23, and the teams tied again after trading scores to 24 but a kill from Fairchild and a Creighton attack error closed it out for the Wildcats at 26-24.

Set 3:

Villanova carried their momentum from the first two sets to get out to a 6-2 lead following a pair of kills from Loitz and a kill from Pedersen-Henry to force a Bluejays timeout. They extended their lead to 11-3, but Creighton went on a 9-5 run to bring the score within four at 16-12. The Wildcats remained composed, maintaining their four point lead to 18-14 before Creighton got it within two following a kill at 18-16. The score stayed within two after a service ace from the Bluejays at 20-18, but Villanova was able to rattle off three straight points to take a 23-18 lead late in the set. Creighton got the score to 24-20 but a service error cost them the set 25-20 and Villanova won the match 3-0.

After the massive win, Head Coach Josh Steinbach stated, “this was a huge win for our program, this team and these seniors. We did a really good job in side out offense and I give credit to our passers who were lights out. Emma Decker had a fantastic night spreading Creighton around the net. Amanda (Pedersen-Henry) was incredibly clutch and Allie (Loitz) and Allie (Olsonoski) played solid as well. It’s a huge win but we’ve got to be great tomorrow to move on.”

This win was the first for Villanova against a ranked opponent under Head Coach Josh Steinbach.

Next in their Schedule:

Villanova faces off against Providence tomorrow night for Senior Night at 7 p.m. in Jake Nevin Field House. A win over the Friars would secure the Wildcats the final seed in the BIG EAST Tournament.


Creighton Athletics

No. 13 Creighton Volleyball’s quest for a fourth straight outright BIG EAST title will have to wait another day, as the visiting Bluejays lost for the first time in a more than a month at Villanova on Friday night. Scores of the match in favor of the Wildcats were 25-21, 26-24, 25-20.

Creighton drops to 22-6 on the year and is 15-2 in the BIG EAST Conference. Creighton can clinch its fourth straight outright title on Saturday with a win at Georgetown or a Marquette loss to DePaul. Both the Hoyas and Blue Demons are 2-15 in league play. Villanova’s win vaults the Wildcats into fourth place at 17-11 (10-7 BIG EAST). VU can clinch a spot in next week’s BIG EAST Championships with a victory on Saturday over Providence, which would earn the Wildcats a rematch with CU next Friday in Milwaukee.

Jaali Winters led Creighton with 14 kills and added 11 digs. Samantha Bohnet led CU with 15 digs in the match. Creighton recorded 40 kills, two aces, 56 digs and three blocks on .241 hitting.

Villanova was paced by 12 kills each from Allie Loitz and Amanda Pedersen-Henry. Loitz added 10 digs and Allison Fitzgerald dug 21 balls. The Wildcats had 49 kills, four aces, 58 digs and two blocks on .304 hitting.

Winters led Creighton with six kills and five digs in the first set, but it wasn’t enough to offset a Wildcat attack that hit .415 and produced 19 kills.  Creighton took its only lead at 3-2 and eventually trailed by as much as 16-10. CU narrowed the gap within two at 22-20 but got no closer as a Darcy Wolf kill closed out the set.

Villanova overcame an early 8-3 hole in the second set to seize control of the match. Taryn Kloth’s sixth kill of the set tied the frame for CU at 23-all. The teams then exchanged sideouts before ‘Nova rattled off the next two points to win a 26-24 set. Bohnet added eight digs for CU.

Marysa Wilkinson had five kills in the final set for CU, but it was too little too late after the Bluejays fell into a 13-4 hole. CU rallied to draw within 18-16, but that’s as close as it got down the stretch. The final three points of the match were service errors.

“I thought we saw a team that was playing for their life and they outworked us,” said Creighton coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth.

Creighton will close the regular-season on Saturday at 5 p.m. Central at Georgetown.

NOTES: Among the streaks that were broken on Friday were Creighton’s 21-match win streak in November, its 18-match win streak in the Eastern Time Zone, its 18-match win streak on BEDN and Brittany Witt’s streak of 12 straight matches with 10 or more digs … Creighton’s 11-match win streak was a season high and tied for fourth-longest in program history. A 12-match win streak was snapped at Villanova in 2015.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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