Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Shelby Henderson against Holy Family.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team didn't have an answer for Holy Family's Chase Wassel on Thursday night, as the Tigers took down the Wildcats, 3-1, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match for the Wildcats were 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, and 19-25.
The Tiger's (10-16, 9-6 CACC) sensational freshman hit .458 against the Wildcats (19-7, 12-3 CACC), putting down 25 kills on 48 attempts with only three errors. She added 21 digs for good measure, completing the highly touted "20-20".
The Wildcats scored three straight points to close the first set gap to 14-13, but the Lions were able to keep them at arm's length, not allowing them to get any closer than 16-15. Alex Siolos picked up a kill and an ace to claw back to 24-22, but Kaitlin DiGiacinto pushed an attack wide to cut the comeback short, as the Tigers went ahead, 25-22.
Another hot start had the Tigers leading 8-3 in the second set, but the Wildcats used an 8-0 run to fly past the Tigers and take a 14-11 lead. But the Tiger weren't done, as they used a 5-1 run to retake the lead, 16-15. Back-to-back kills from Siolos and DiGiacinto put the Wildcats in front, 20-18, and it was a lead they wouldn't relinquish. A Tiger attack error sparked a 3-0 run for the Wildcats as Allison Briley put back-to-back swings on the floor to tie the match, 1-1, at 25-21.
Trailing 10-9 in the third set, the Wildcats used the service game of Shelby Henderson to score five straight points, capping the run with a solo block from Eile Harris. The Tigers countered with a 5-1 run to tie the match 15-15 before the teams traded points all the way to 21-21. The Tigers scored back-to-back points and three of the next four to lead 24-22 before kills from DiGiacinto and Erin Bistany tied the match at 24-24, sending the game into extra points. But the comeback didn't last long, as the Tigers scored back-to-back points on a pair of kills from Rachel Johnson to win the set, 26-24.
The Tigers kept the momentum going into the fourth set, scoring the first seven points of the game and 11 of the first 14. A mini run brought the Wildcats to 13-7, before another three-straight points brought the Wildcats to within 16-10. The Tigers led 21-12 before the Wildcats scored six of the next seven points, getting a kill from Bistany and an ace from Siolos to bring the home team to within 22-18. A kill from DiGiacinto had the Wildcats to as few as four points, 23-19, but the Tigers finished the match with a kill and an ace, 25-19.
Siolos led the Wildcats with 17 kills and 23 digs while Briley connected for 15 kills and 16 digs. DiGiacinto was the final Wildcat to collect double digit kills, gaining a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs.
Miranda Shaw dished out 46 assists in the match while libero Shelby Henderson added 21 digs. Harris and DiGiacinto led the defense at the net with four block assists each while Bistany added three block assists.
The Wildcats hit .183 with 175 swings on the night, but the Tigers collected 95 digs and seven blocks defensively.
Wilmington, which had a seven-match winning streak snapped on Thursday, will look to get back in the win column on Saturday, as they head to CACC North Division foe Nyack. First service is set for 12:00 p.m. in Nyack, N.Y.