Theatrical Comeback Kicks Off Homecoming as Wilmington Volleyball Stuns Bloomfield in Five Sets

Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Eile Harris against Chestnut Hill, taken by Frank Stallworth.
Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Eile Harris against Chestnut Hill, taken by Frank Stallworth.

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team didn't waste the comeback effort, coming all the way back to defeat Bloomfield, 3-2, to kickstart the 2017 Wilmington Homecoming Weekend at the WU Athletics Complex on Saturday morning.

Set scores for the match were 17-25, 24-26, 26-14, 25-17, and 15-9.

Trailing 2-0, the Wildcats (9-12, 5-4 CACC) won their third straight match by staying alive in the third set before conquering the fourth and fifth sets in front of the Homecoming crowd.

The Wildcats had a 20-16 lead in the second set, but the Bears (5-12, 4-5 CACC) fought back in scoring five of the next six points to tie the match, 21-21. Brittany Ford put down a kill for the Wildcats to lead 22-21, but the Bears scored three straight again to gain set point, 24-22. A Miranda Shaw kill and a Bears attack error tied the set at 24 but back-to-back kills by the visitors gave them a 2-0 lead, 26-24.

The Wildcats led throughout the early stages of the third set, but the Bears battled back to eventually tie the set at 15 and again at 16. An Eile Harris kill started a 3-0 run for the Wildcats, as they took a 23-19 advantage. But the Bears answered again with three straight of their own, getting to with 23-22. Mandy Behiels gave the Wildcats set point with a kill, 24-22. The Bears tied the set at 24, but a Behiels kill and a Bears' error kept the Wildcats alive, 26-24.

The home team started fast in the fourth set, taking a 4-0 lead. They didn't pull away for good until late in the set, however, as the Bears stuck around until 15-14. A Ford kill started a 5-1 spurt for the Wildcats, as a Harris ace gave the Wildcats a 20-15 lead. Erin Bistany put down a kill before Shaw added an ace for the 22-16 lead as well. The Wildcats ties the match by scoring the final three points of the set, getting three errors by the Bears for the 25-17 fourth set win.

The Bears led 3-2 early in the fifth set, but a Ford kill, a Harris block, and a Jill Braunsberg ace put the Wildcats up 5-3. Leading 8-7, the Wildcats scored three straight on the strength of back-to-back kills by Braunsberg to grab an 11-7 advantage. Two more consecutive points put the Wildcats ahead 13-8 before they completed the comeback with the final two points of the match, getting a block from Bistany and a kill from Harris for the 15-9 win.

Braunsberg collected her sixth triple-double of the season, doing so in back-to-back matches. She finished Saturday with 11 kills, 25 assists, and 11 digs, hitting .235 for the match. Behiels led the Wildcats with 13 kills, adding 15 digs for the double-double. Shaw dished out 20 assists while adding 17 digs for the double-double.

Harris added 10 kills on 21 swings with only one error, resulting in a .429 attack percentage. Harris also added four solo blocks and two block assists for a team high 17 points on the match. Bistany came on for the final three sets, chipping in with five kills and four block solos as well. The Wildcats had eight solo blocks and six block assists on the match.

The Wildcats will put their three-match win streak on the line when they head to Holy Family on Wednesday for a crucial CACC South Division contest. First serve in Philadelphia is set for 6:00 p.m.