Video Recap at bottom of page
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team closed out the 2021 Wildcat Regional Invitational with a pair of victories on Saturday, coming back to defeat Le Moyne, 3-2, and then sweeping Saint Rose, 3-0, in the nightcap at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match against Le Moyne were 25-18, 22-25, 22-25, 25-19, and 15-13.
Set scored for the match against Saint Rose were 25-17, 25-19, and 25-22.
Mandy Beheils was named to the All-Tournament Team, putting down 44 kills in 11 sets, hitting at a .207 clip. She also averaged 3.73 digs per set, totaling 37 for the weekend.
MATCH 1 vs. LE MOYNE:
After taking the first set against the Dolphins, the Wildcats need a wild comeback to force a fifth set, and then completed the comeback for their first win at home in 2021.
The turning point in the fourth set was a string of three straight blocks in one rally by Dorie Moore in the middle of the floor. She rejected a pair of attack attempts, but the Dolphins were able to keep it off the floor. But then the third attempt was stuffed by Dorie Moore for a solo block, giving the Wildcats the 18-17 lead and momentum.
Moore then put down a kill on the next play, and then the Wildcats scored three straight points to take a 22-18 lead. A block by Mandy Behiels and Angel Oliver ended the set, 25-19, forcing the deciding fifth set.
The Wildcats started the set by scoring the first four points, but then Le Moyne battled back to make it 4-3. A block by Angel Oliver and Kaiya Medina gave the Wildcats an 8-3 lead and an error capped a 5-0 run by the Wildcats to take the 9-3 advantage.
The Dolphins fought all the way to within 12-11, however, but the Wildcats never allowed them to tie the set or take the lead. A kill from Heather Pedrick and a block by Oliver and Pedrick gave the Wildcats three match points, 14-11. The Dolphins earned two of them back before a block by Behiels and Oliver capped the match, 15-13.
Mandy Behiels had 20 kills in the match while Heather Pedrick had her second straight triple-double with 12 kills, 17 assists, and 14 digs. Kaiya Medina had a breakout match with 11 kills, hitting .333 for the match. Angel Oliver collected three solo blocks and seven block assists while the team finished with 14 total blocks.
MATCH 2 vs. SAINT ROSE:
The tournament nightcap was all Wilmington as they handled Saint Rose in straight sets. They needed to come from behind in the third set, but they did just that for the sweep.
Jessica Connelly gave the Wildcats a 21-11 lead in the first set with a kill and then back-to-back points saw the Wildcats lead go to 23-14. A bad set gave the Wildcats set point before Heather Pedrick put the first game away with a kill, 25-17.
The Wildcats were down 10-8 in the second set and the match was tied 11-11 before the home team ran off seven straight points to take control of the set. Saint Rose fought back to within 21-16, but then kills from Katie Bushong, Sydney Barrett, and Heather Pedrick gave the Widcats set point, 24-16. The Golden Knights held off three set points, but then a bad set gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead, 25-19.
Saint Rose jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the early going of the third set and led by as many as 16-10 in the game. The Wildcats were down 20-15 but then went on a 6-1 run to tie the set, 21-21. Saint Rose took a brief 22-21 lead but then the Wildcats got kills from Heather Pedrick, Mandy Behiels, a Saint Rose error, and a final kill from Pedrick to sweep the Golden Knights, 25-22.
Pedrick finished with another triple-double, leading the way with 17 kills, 16 assists and 10 digs. She only committed two errors on 26 swings, hitting .577 for the match. Grace Morton had 23 digs while Katie Bushong led with 17 assists. Jessica Connelly hit .350 with nine kills as well.
The Wildcats begin Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play this week when they go to USciences on Wednesday for a midweek contest. The match on Wednesday is set for a 7:00 p.m. first serve.