EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - - The volleyball team picked up the first win of the 2014 fall season for Wilmington University, defeating American International in its first match at the ESU Invitational on Sunday, but fell to the host Warriors in the nightcap to close out the tournament.
Set scores against American International were 25-21, 19-25, 25-12, 18-25, and 15-9.
Set scores against East Stroudsburg were 19-25, 19-25, 25-18, and 20-25.
Opening play on Sunday, the Wildcats (1-3 overall) needed all five sets to get by American International, capturing the fifth and final set by a 15-9 score to win the match.
The Wildcats outhit the Yellow Jackets (2-2 overall), .179 to .091, and carried an astounding 14.5 to 4.0 total team block advantage.
Leading the charge at the net was freshman Eile Harris who collected nine block assists and added a solo block in the match. The nine block assists are tied for second most in a single match in program history. Sophomore Alex Siolos helped with six block assists while freshman Erin Bistany and sophomore Allison Briley led the way with a team high two solo blocks each.
On the back line, the defense was led by junior libero Shelby Henderson with 17 digs while classmate Kaitlin DiGiacinto added 13 digs.
DiGiacinto added a double-double with a team high 12 kills in the match while Briley chipped in with 11 terminations. Siolos was a kill shy of a double-double with nine, while dishing out 18 assists. Senior Kasey Couch passed out a team high 26 assists in the win.
The Wildcats couldn't keep the momentum rolling in the nightcap of the tournament, winning the third set against host East Stroudsburg to stay alive, but ultimately falling in four sets.
Wilmington nearly matched the Warriors in hitting (.111 to .110) while only amassing eight fewer kills (48-40). The Warriors also out-dug (77-72) and out-blocked (14-9) the Wildcats throughout the match.
DiGiacinto again led the attack for the Wildcats, finishing with a team high 12 kills on 41 swings. SIolos had another all around game, posting eight kills with a team high 21 assists while also collecting seven digs, five block assists, and a solo block.
Couch dished out 13 more assists while collecting another double-double with 17 digs while DiGiacinto added a double-double with 16 digs defensively.
The Wildcats went 1-3 in their season opening tournament but return to the friendly confines of the WU Athletics Complex for their home opener on Wednesday. Starting their third season at the new facility, the Wildcats have gone 29-3 at home.
Wednesday's match is also the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener, as the Wildcats will host Chestnut Hill. The opening serve is schedule for 7 p.m.