Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
NEWARK, Del. - - Trailing by as many as 10-7 and as late as 12-10 in the fifth set, the Wilmington University volleyball team rallied back to take the final five points of the match and defeat Millersville, 3-2, in the 2016 home opener at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match were 25-18, 18-25, 25-10, 25-27, and 15-12.
The Wildcats (1-3) scored the final eight points of the first set to turn an 18-17 deficit into a 1-0 lead, but the Marauders fought back with a 25-18 second set victory of their own. The Wildcats jumped all over Millersville to begin the third set, scoring eight straight en route to a 13-1 run to take a commanding 15-5 lead. The Wildcats went on to win the set, 25-10.
The fourth had all the fixings of a great set, with multiple lead changes and comebacks. The Wildcats were close but trailed 15-13 before the Marauders rattled off four straight for a 19-13 lead. A kill from Megan Ward brought the Wildcats to within 21-18, but the Marauders reached set point at 24-21. Freshman Jill Braunsberg put a kill down and followed it up with an ace to stave off two set points before a block by freshmen Rebecca Rawlinson and Emma Kongevold tied the game 24-24. Another service ace by Braunsberg gave the Wildcats its first match point but the visitors got the ball back on a service error before coming up with back-to-back points to force a fifth set.
The Wildcats jumped out to a large 6-1 lead on the serve of Allison Briley, but the Marauders fired back with a 9-1 run of their own to take a 10-7 lead. A Rawlinson kill tied the set, 10-10, but Millersville again took a 12-10 lead with back-to-back kills. A costly service ace gave the ball back to the Wildcats and the home team never relinquished its serve. Jenna Brown served out the match, starting with consecutive kills from Rawlinson and Briley. A Marauder error gave the Wildcats their second match point and Brown ended it with an ace, 15-12.
Briley led the Wildcats with 15 kills, hitting .289 for the match on 38 swings. The senior also added two aces, seven digs, and three block assists. Rawlinson hit .458 from the middle position, putting down 14 kills while adding seven block assists. Addalyn Flores came up with a match high 22 digs while Brown added 12 from the back row. Braunsberg dished out a team high 23 assists while adding seven kills and six digs. Miranda Shaw added 21 assists as nine digs as well.
The Wildcats hit .196 as a team, holding Millersville to a .138 attack percentage by claiming 10 blocks and 62 digs in the match.
The Wildcats remain home for four matches this weekend, hosting the 2016 Wildcat Regional Invitational. They welcome seven teams to the WU Athletics Complex and start with matches against Pace and American International on Friday afternoon.