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Wilmington Volleyball Splits a Pair on Day One of 2016 Wildcat Regional Invitational

Wilmington Volleyball Splits a Pair on Day One of 2016 Wildcat Regional Invitational

Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Allison Briley.

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team split a pair of matches on day one of the 2016 Wildcat Regional Invitational, opening the tournament with a 3-2 win over Pace before falling, 3-0, American International in the nightcap on Saturday at the WU Athletics Complex.

Set scores for the match against Pace were 27-25, 25-15, 18-25, 19-25, and 16-14.

Set score for the match against American International were 22-25, 21-25, and 16-25.

The Wildcats (2-4) jumped all over the Setters (5-2) in the first two sets, hitting .216 in the first before hitting .342 in the second by only committing one attack error. But the Setters were able to get back into the contest as the Wildcats hit -.069, .071, and 0.87 in each of the next three sets.

The fifth set was a back and forth affair, as an Allison Briley kill and a Rebecca Rawlinson ace put he home team in front, 9-6. But the Setters rattled off seven consecutive points to take control, 13-9. A Pace attack error allowed the Wildcats to get the serve back and used a kill from Megan Ward and a Miranda Shaw ace to tie the match, 13-13.

The Setters earned match point with a kill, but Eile Harris and Briley came up with a block to keep the Wildcats alive. Ward produced a kill to give the Wildcats match point and a Setter error gave the Wildcats the set, 16-14, and the match, 3-2.

Briley led the team with 12 kills and 17 points, but also led the team with a career high 28 digs. Jill Braunsberg collected nine kills, 18 digs, and 12 assists while fellow freshman Rawlinson chipped in with eight kills, two aces, and five block assists. Megan Ward added seven kills, seven digs, a solo block and two block assists in the win as well.

In the nightcap, the Wildcats got eh first set to as close as 18-17, but American International scored three straight and 4- of the next five points to take a 22-18 lead. A 7-2 run in the second set allowed the Yellow Jackets to take a 19-13 lead and the Wildcats could only get back to within 21-19 before AIC took a commanding 2-0 lead.

The third set was as close as 14-12 before the Yellow Jackets scored four straight en route to a 9-2 run to open up a 23-14 lead. An ace ended the set, 25-16, and the match, 3-0.

Briley again led the Wildcats' offense, putting down 15 terminations while adding eight digs. Ward added eight kills without committing an error for a .667 attack percentage, while Rawlinson chipped in with seven kills and a .385 attack percentage. Jenna Brown led the team with 11 digs.

The 2016 Wildcat Regional Invitational continues on Saturday as the Wildcats will host Le Moyne at 10:00 a.m. and Franklin Pierce in the nightcap at 7:00 p.m.