Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Preseason Poll had Wilmington University and Philadelphia as one and two, respectively, in the South Division and if Wednesday night was a test of knowledge, the coaches were right.
In a back and forth fight, the Rams (10-3, 3-0 CACC) came out on top, 3-2, in the first of two meetings against the Wildcats (4-7, 1-1 CACC) this season.
Set scores for the Wildcats for the match were 25-21, 19-25, 25-27, 25-22, and 11-15.
Trailing 14-10 in the opening set, the Wildcats went on a 8-1 run to turn the game into an 18-15 advantage. Still leading 20-18, Rebecca Rawlinson put down a kill before an attack error put the Wildcats up 22-18. Another kill from Rawlinson and a kill by Jill Braunsberg gave the home team set point. Out of a timeout, the Rams' service went into the net giving the game to the Wildcats.
The Rams turned their game around in the second, sprinting out to a 14-4 lead. The Wildcats fought back with an 8-3 run, but the Rams rattled off three straight points to extend their lead to 20-12. The Wildcats saved four set points, but it was too much to overcome as the Rams evened the match, 25-19.
The third set was a back and forth affair. The Rams looked to take momentum at 19-14, but the Wildcats went on a 6-1 run, tying the match at 20-20 with a block from Rawlinson and Megan Ward. The Rams answered with a 4-1 run of their own, looking at set point and a 2-1 lead. But a Rawlinson kill kept the Wildcats alive before Allison Briley served up three straight points. A Ram Attack error gave the home team set point, 25-24. But the Rams battled back once again, getting a kill, a Wildcat attack error, and another kill to take the set, 27-25.
Tied 11-11 in the fourth set, the Wildcats scored three consecutive points to lead 14-11, getting a big solo block from Eile Harris on the last point. The Wildcats were able to stay ahead of the Rams throughout the game, and pulled away with three straight points when leading 21-20. Another block by Harris and Emma Kongevold put the Cats up 23-20 before an attack error gave the home team set points, 24-20. The Rams scored twice but Harris kept the Wildcats alive with a kill, forcing a fifth set, 25-22.
After scoring the first point in the fifth, the Wildcats found themselves down 4-1 after the Rams picked up two kills, a block, and an ace. Another 4-0 run put the Rams ahead 9-4 before the Wildcats made their move. Briley started a 5-0 run with a kill before Jenna Brown collected back-to-back aces. Briley ended the run with a kill, tying the match, 9-9. But the Rams stemmed the tide and regained the lead. The closest the Wildcats would get the rest of the way would be 11-10. The Rams scored three straight to lead 14-10 before finishing off the match, 15-11.
Braunsberg was a kill away from a triple-double for the Wildcats, collecting nine kills, 18 assists, and 18 digs. Briley led the team with 12 kills and 11 digs while Rawlinson finished with a team high 14.5 points, collecting eight kills, four aces, three block assists and a solo block. Harris added seven kills, four block assists, and her lone solo block.
The Wildcats remain in CACC play at the WU Athletics Complex this weekend, as they host Concordia on Saturday. The matinee match is slated for a 12:00 p.m. first service.