NEWARK, Del. - - Bloomfield had the final run of points in a tightly contested Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference volleyball match, defeating the Wilmington University volleyball team, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match were 25-22, 23-255, 21-25, 25-21, and 15-12.
The defense was on display on both sides of the net on Saturday afternoon, with the Bears (7-4, 4-1 CACC) ending with five players with double digit digs, the Wildcats (10-7, 2-3 CACC) with three, and a combined total of 26 blocks in the match.
The Wildcats started fast in the opening set, using a 5-1 run to take a 14-9 lead. A Mandy Behiels kill gave the Wildcats a 20-15 lead but the Bears fought back with four-straight points of their own to close the gap to 20-19. Caroline Wise put the Wildcats up 23-20 with a kill but Emma Kongevold gave the home team set point with a kill. Mandy Behiels then put the Wildcat up, 1-0, with a kill, 25-22.
The Bears came out firing in the second set, taking a 13-6 lead. The Wildcats closed the gap with a 5-0 run, and eventually tied the set, 16-16, with a Rianne Nickerson ace. That was a part of another 5-0 run that saw the Wildcats climb back on top, 19-16. But Bloomfield didn't back down, going on a 7-0 run before an error put the set at 23-20 in favor of the Bears. An error gave the Bears set point, but the Wildcats didn't make it easy with three straight points, but couldn't tie it up before a kill from the setter Juliette Tygret tied the match, 1-1, with a 25-23 win.
The Wildcats again had a lead late in the third set, as a block from Kongevold and Angel Oliver had the Wildcats ahead, 19-18. But three straight points by Bloomfield had the set at 21-19 in favor of the visitors before three more consecutive points saw the Bears take a 24-20 lead. Bailey Andrews had a kill, but the Bear closed of the set, 25-21, to take a 2-1 lead.
Each team had long runs early in the fourth set, with the Wildcats' 5-0 run put them up 10-8. Bailey Andrews started another 5-0 run with a kill, as Sarah Couch came up with an ace and Caroline Wise a kill to lead 17-12. Rebecca Rawlinson put down a kill for the 21-17 lead, and the Bears could only get as close as 21-19 the rest of the way. Andrews had another kill for set point and then Angel Oliver sent the match into a fifth set with a kill, 25-21.
The Bears led 4-1 early in the fifth, but a 5-1 Wildcat run saw the home team move ahead, 6-5. A Rawlinson solo block tied the set at 8-8 before kills from Bailey Andrews again tied the set at 9-9 and 10-10. A Bloomfield service error once again tied the set, 11-11, but then the Bears went on a match deciding 3-0 run. A kill, an ace, and a block put the Bears up 14-11, and the Wildcats could only get one of those points back on a Rebecca Rawlinson kill. The Bears ended the match with one final block at the net, 15-12.
Mandy Behiels and Bailey Andrews led the Wildcats with 12 kills each, while Andrews hit .579 for the match with only one error. Angel Oliver had nine kills to go with five block assists while Rebecca Rawlinson finished with eight kills, three solo blocks, and one block assist. Caroline Wise added four kills and four block assists while Emma Kongevold finished with three kills and three block assists.
The Wildcats play two matches midweek, starting with a road contest at Holy Family on Tuesday. The first serve against the reigning CACC Tournament Champions is set for 6:00 p.m. in Philadelphia.