NEWARK, Del. - - Senior outside hitter Mandy Behiels collected her 1,000th career kill and 16 total in the match, but it wasn't enough as Franklin Pierce took the 2021 home opener from the Wilmington University volleyball team, 3-0, at the WU Athletics Complex in the Wildcat Regional Invitational.
Set scores for the match were 25-23, 25-20, and 30-28.
Mandy Behiels (Edmonton, Alberta) only needed three kills to become the fifth player in Wilmington's NCAA era to reach the 1,000-kill milestone, doing it in the first set. She joins Wilmington alumnae Allison Briley (1,367 kills; 2013-16), Kaitlin DiGiacinto (1,198 kills; 2012-15), Kristin Wiedeman (1,096 kills; 2004-06), and Alex Siolos (1,039 kills; 2004-06).
The back-and-forth match was decided late in each set. The Wildcats led by three-points at multiple points in the first, as late as 19-16. Franklin Pierce scored five straight to take a 21-19 lead but then a kill from Heather Pedrick and an error tied the match for the Wildcats, 22-22. Behiels tied the set again, 23-23, with a kill, but the Ravens earned back-to-back points to take the first set, 25-23.
The Wildcats led 7-4 in the early going of the second set, but the Ravens rattled off a 6-0 run to take a 10-7 lead. The Wildcats answered with a 4-1 spurt of their own to tie the set, 11-11, and the teams remained close once again. The set was tied 17-17, but the Ravens went on a 6-3 run to take a 23-20 lead. Out of a Wilmington timeout, the Ravens scored back-to-back points, getting a block and a kill to take a 2-0 lead, 25-20.
Wilmington jumped early in the third set, using a 7-2 run to take an 11-6 lead. An Angel Oliver service ace gave the Wildcats a 16-9 lead, but the Ravens began to chip away at the deficit. A Heather Pedrick kill gave the Wildcats a 20-16 lead, but then the Ravens scored five of the next six points to tie the set, 21-21. The teams went on the see-saw for the couple points before back-to-back points by the Ravens gave them their first match point, 24-23.
A Dorie Moore kill switched the lead and gave the Wildcats their first set point, 25-24, but the Ravens had an answer once again. They scored back-to-back points for another match point, 27-26. But Dorie Moore and Heather Pedrick were there for a block to keep the Wildcats alive once more. Mandy Behiels tied the match, 28-28, but then the Ravens got a kill and a service ace to end the match, 30-28.
Heather Pedrick came away with her second triple-double of the season, recording 12 kills to go with 13 assists and 13 digs, hitting at a 0.423 clip. She only committed one error in the match. Mandy Behiels finished with 16 kills and 19 digs for the double-double while Angel Oliver added eight kills and two solo blocks. Katie Bushong dished out 23 assists and added 13 digs while Grace Morton had 11 digs as well.
The Wildcat Regional Invitational continues on Saturday as the Wildcats will face Le Moyne at 9:00 a.m. and conclude the tournament against Saint Rose at 7:00 p.m.