Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Briley against Pace.
KUTZTOWN, Pa. - - A record setting performance carried the Wilmington University volleyball team back from a 2-0 hole as the Wildcats battled back to take a 3-2 victory at Kutztown on Tuesday night in the Keystone Arena.
Set scores for the match were 22-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-18, and 15-13.
Senior outside hitter Allison Briley led the comeback charge and etched her name in the record books by doing so. She set a new single match program mark with 31 kills on Tuesday, committing only four errors while hitting .409 for the match. Her record setting 27th kill came late in the fourth set to put the Wildcats ahead, 19-13.
Briley's 31 kills breaks the mark set by Kristin Wiedeman in 2005 when she put down 26 kills at NJIT. Wiedeman also had the second and third most kills in a match in program history, collecting 23 in two separate matches during the 2005 season as well.
But the match wasn't as easy as Briley was making it seem, as the Wildcats (3-6) found themselves down 2-0 after the first two sets. The Wildcats rallied and jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the third but the Golden Bears (2-5) fought back to tie the set at 11-11. The Wildcats surged ahead once more, grabbing a 19-14 lead before earning set point at 24-21. But the Golden Bears weren't going away, as they came up with three straight points to tie the set, 24-24. Again tied at 25, Briley put down her sixth and seventh kills of the third set to keep the Wildcats alive and win the set, 27-25.
The Wildcats continued the momentum into the fourth set, turning a 10-9 deficit into leads of 18-12, 19-13, and 20-14. The teams continued to trade points when Rebecca Rawlinson ended the game with a kill at 25-18. Briley again finished the set with seven kills.
It looked as though the Wildcats were going to run away with the first set, going on a 6-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. But the Golden Bears made a run of their own, using a 7-1 spurt to regain an 11-10 lead. Briley ended the run with her 31st and final kill of the night to tie the set at 11-11, before an attack error put the Wildcats ahead, 12-11. Tied at 13, another Kutztown attack error gave the Wildcats match point and Megan Ward quickly ended it with a service ace for the 3-2 win.
Briley went for seven kills in the first, six in the second, seven in the third, seven in the fourth, and four in the fifth. She only committed four errors on 66 attempts to lead the team with a .409 attack percentage. The senior also added in a team high 19 digs for the double-double.
Eile Harris put down 11 kills while hitting .296 and added five block assists and a solo block. Rawlinson was the final Wildcat in double figures with 10 kills, adding three block assists and two solo blocks. Addalyn Flores and Brianna Cunha tallied 17 digs while Emma Kongevold tallied 13 and Jenna Brown collected 12 more.
Miranda Shaw finished with the third most assists in a single match in program history with 57, four away from setting a single match record. She added 14 digs for the double-double.
The Wildcats remain on the road for their next match but begin their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference slate on Saturday. The Wildcats will head to Felician for a North/South crossover with the first serve scheduled for 1:00 p.m.