An exciting end for a great week of Villanova Athletics. Here are the main storylines of the week.
A Clutch Homecoming Win:
The Wildcats clashed against the #9 Richmond Spiders for their final home game. In a must-win game, Villanova put together a great performance to keep its FCS Playoffs hopes alive. Zach Bednarczyk went full circle. The redshirt freshman quarterback orchestrated a last minute clutch game-winning drive in the first home game this season and did the same for the final one at Villanova Stadium. Down by six, Bednarczyk connected with Kevin Gulyas on fourth-and-seven for the winning touchdown. Gerard Smith converted the extra point to put Villanova ahead. With only 41 seconds left on the clock, Richmond’s final attempts to steal the game were unsuccessful. The final Hail Mary pass was batted down to the ground. Gulyas, the senior wideout, had a fantastic performance in his final game at Villanova Stadium. He reeled in eight catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bednarczyk completed 17-of-26 pass attempts for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Article: Week 10 Preview: #9 Richmond Spiders
Recap: Villanova Claws Its Way to Fourth Quarter Victory in Spectacular Defeat of Richmond
One More Before Nationals:
The men’s and women’s cross country teams fell just short of earning automatic bids to go to the NCAA National Championships at Louisville, Ky. Patrick Tiernan captured the top spot once again, winning his second career NCAA Mid-Regional individual title on Friday. Tiernan finished with a comfortable 25 second margin of victory, clocking in at 30:15.8. Rob Denault and Jordy Williamsz joined Tiernan in the top ten, finishing in fifth and ninth, respectively. As a team, the men’s team finished third overall. As for the women’s team, Angel Piccirillo led the way with a seventh place finish. Siofra Cleirigh Buttner and Bella Burda cracked the top 25. Cleirigh Buttner finished 17th overall and Burda came in at 22nd. The women’s team finished in fourth place as a whole. Despite missing out on the automatic bids, both teams have nothing to worry about, they are going to Louisville next week.
Recap: Tiernan, Piccirillo Lead Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Teams at Mid-Atlantic Regionals
Protect This House:
Women’s volleyball continues its stellar season. Villanova improves to 22-7 overall, but more importantly 10-0 at home. The Wildcats posted their sixth shutout at Jake Nevin Field House. Villanova shut down the Seton Hall Pirates, taking the game in three sets. The Wildcats won in comfortable fashion, winning 25-19, 25-18, 25-13. Villanova received game-high assists and kills from Emma Pettit and Claire Crutchfield. Pettit had 29 assists, while Crutchfield put in 11 kills. The Wildcats also saw four different players supply at least five kills each. Allie Loitz had seven kills and 14 digs. Amanda Pedersen-Henry and Lauren Carpenter finished with six kills each. Gabby Pethokoukis added five kills and five blocks. The Wildcats have two more games left in the regular season, both of which will be at home.
Recap: Home Cooking! ‘Nova Volleyball Improves to 10-0 at Jake Nevin
Title Defense Begins:
Men’s basketball began its mission on Friday night, opening up the season at home against Fairleigh Dickinson. The Wildcats found success in the paint, where Daniel Ochefu had a big game. The 6-foot-11 center bullied the smaller Knights’ forwards en route to a double-double performance. Ochefu finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Villanova outrebounded FDU 53-37 and outscored the Knights in the paint, 41-16. Jalen Brunson impressed in his debut, scoring 12 points and dishing out four assists. Kris Jenkins, Josh Hart, and Ryan Arcidiacono also put up double digit scoring numbers as well. Villanova did not shoot so well from long range, only draining 28.6% of its attempts from beyond the arc. However, they overwhelmed FDU at every other facet in the game. The Wildcats went wire-to-wire taking down the Knights 91-54.
Article: Game Preview: Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
Recap: Wildcats Tip Off Season With Strong Victory Over Fairleigh Dickinson
Another Heartbreaking Loss at the Hands of N.C. State:
The women’s basketball team also opened its season on Friday. The Wildcats found themselves down for most of the game. N.C. State seemed to be hot and cold, going on scoring runs at one moment of the game, while quieting down in other instances. The Wolfpack held a 40-26 lead going into halftime. After the break, N.C. State was able to push its lead to 19 at one point, before Villanova came storming back. The Wildcats staged a fierce rally. Late in the fourth quarter, sophomore Adrianna Hahn knocked down a three to tie the game at 62. Unfortunately, the Wolfpack’s Miah Spencer answered back with a basket to retake the lead. An empty handed Villanova possession was met with a N.C. State and-one at the other end to effectively put the game away. The Wolfpack went on to win 70-64. Caroline Coyer paced the Wildcats with 24 points, going 10-for-18 on the floor.
Recap: Women’s Basketball Drops Season Opener to Wolfpack
Streak Is Over:
The women’s swimming and diving team got its first loss this season. They lost a dual meet against Penn, losing 176.5-121.5. On the bright side, they picked up four first place victories, ten second place finishes, and eight third place finishes. Caitlin Daday snagged the first victory of the day, finishing first in the 1000 yard freestyle. Freshman Darby Goodwin notched her sixth individual victory with a win in the 200 yard backstroke. Gabby Daigneault added the final individual victory, as Alexa Fabbri, Kaisla Kollanus, Taylor Wilson, and Jessie Randolph won first in the 200 yard free relay. As for the men’s team, they are still searching for their first win. They came close, but ultimately fell 139-116.