LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - Trailing 2-1, the Wilmington University volleyball team stormed back to take the fourth set before keeping the momentum to steal the fifth and come away with the 3-2 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division victory in the Wellness Center on Tuesday night.
Set scores for the match were 17-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19, and 15-8.
Despite only hitting 0.088 for the match, the Wildcats (7-7, 3-1 CACC) came out on top by collecting 14 service aces and 21 total blocks.
The Lions (11-3, 3-2 CACC) jumped all over the Wildcats in the first set, sprinting out to a 10-1 lead. The Wildcats closed the gap to 15-10, and had it to as few as five once against at 20-15, but the Lions rattled off four straight to gain set point, 24-16. A WilmU service error gave the first set to the Lions, 25-17.
The Wildcats started fast in the second set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead. But a 9-3 run by the Lions gave the home team a 13-9 lead. Now tied 18-18, the Lions scored four straight and looked as if they were going to win the set, but three straight denials at the net by the Wildcats sparked a 5-0 run to give the Wildcats a 23-22 lead. After the Lions tied the set, 23-23, the Wildcats won the set with back-to-back Lion attack errors.
Georgian Court opened the third set with a 15-8 lead, but then the Wildcats scored five straight to get back into the set, 15-13. The Lions answered with four straight of their own and the Wildcats could only get to within as few as three the rest of the way before the Lions scored the final three points of the set to win, 25-18.
The Wildcats started the fourth set with three different strings of 3-0 rallies, taking a 14-8 lead and forcing Georgian Court into a timeout. An ace and back-to-back kills by Mandy Behiels gave the Wildcats an 18-10 lead before another 3-0 sprint gave the Wildcats a 23-16 advantage. Behiels gave the Wildcats set point before a service error tied the match, 2-2, with a 25-19 win in the fourth set.
The fifth set went back and forth in the early going. With the Lions leading 6-5, the Wildcats got a kill from Mandy Behiels and then back-to-back blocks by Dorie Moore and Heather Pedrick to take an 8-6 lead and force the Lions into a timeout. Georgian Court scored twice out of the timeout to tie the set, 8-8, but then the Wildcats put the game away. A Lion error sparked a match ending 7-0 run by the Wildcats, getting kills from Heather Pedrick and Jessica Connelly, a solo block from Angel Oliver and then back-to-back attack errors by the Lions to end the match, 15-8.
Mandy Behiels led the Wildcats with 12 kills while adding a double-double with 11 digs and three aces. Jessica Connelly was the only other Wildcats with double digit kills, finishing with 10 while hitting .233. Connelly also added five block assists.
Heather Pedrick collected eight kills while leading the team with 17 assists and seven aces, adding 12 digs and three block assists. Angel Oliver led the team with five block assists while adding a solo block for six total blocks. Dorie Moore was the third Wildcat with five block assists. Elly Collins led the back row with a match high 19 digs in the win.
The Wildcats remain on the road and in the CACC for their next contest, as they head to Bloomfield for a cross divisional match on Saturday. The first serve in The Gym is set for 1:00 p.m.