Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo by Frank Stallworth.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team was unable to find the open space in the Philadelphia defense, falling on the road, 3-0, in a battle atop the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division on Wednesday night in the Gallagher Center.
Set scores for the match were 28-30, 17-25, and 22-25.
Despite having similar attack attempts and only two more errors, the Wildcats (12-6, 6-2 CACC) could only put 29 attacks on the floor, as compared to the 51 kills for the Rams (10-4, 6-1 CACC). Philadelphia collected 75 digs for the match while the Wildcats were only able to collect 55 digs.
The Wildcats had a chance to jump ahead of the Rams in the first set, which could have turned the match in a different direction. Trailing, 9-8, the Wildcats used an 8-1 run to take its largest lead of the set, 16-11. The Rams responded with four straight points of their own, getting to within a single point at 16-15, and eventually tied the game at 18-18.
The teams went back and forth, with the set being tied at 20-20, 21-21, and 22-22. The Rams got back-to-back points to earn set point, 24-22, but a service error started a string of three straight points for the Wildcats, earning their own set point at 25-24. But the Wildcats committed their own service error out of a Philadelphia timeout, before getting a kill form Alex Siolos for another set point, 26-25. But back-to-back points by the Rams gave the home team the advantage, and the Wildcats needed to fight back to tie the set at 27-27, and again at 28-28. A Wilmington ball handling error and a Ram kill finally ended the set, 30-28.
The Rams used the momentum from the end of the first set for the second set, jumping out to early leads of 5-2 and 10-6. Now leading 15-10, the Rams used a 6-1 run to open their largest lead of the set at 21-11. The Wildcats scored six straight points to get back into the set, getting a pair of blocks from Megan Ward and Alex Siolos and an ace from Miranda Shaw before a Philadelphia timeout. Out of the break, the Rams scored the final four points, moving ahead, 2-0, with a 25-17 set victory.
A 10-2 run early in the third set gave the Wildcats a 12-7 lead before a kill from Allison Briley and Ram ball handling error gave the Wildcats a 21-16 lead. But the Wildcats couldn't close out the set and keep the match alive, as the rams went on a 8-2 run to end the set, gaining the final two points to take the match, 25-22.
Siolos and Briley led the offense with nine kills each. Eile Harris added five kills while Kaitlin DiGiacinto chipped in with four. Shelby Henderson led the team with 14 digs while Briley and Siolos added 10 digs each.
The Wildcats were out-blocked in the match as well, 8-5. Harris led the Wildcats with three block assists while Miranda Shaw, Ward, and Siolos each added two block assists.
The Wildcats return to the WU Athletics Complex on Saturday for their next CACC contest. The Wildcats are 8-2 when playing in front of their home crowd this season and will take on Felician starting at 12 p.m.