PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Winning a close second set swung the momentum of the match in favor of Holy Family, as the Tigers came back to defeat the Wilmington University volleyball team, 3-1, to earn the season sweep in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference series on Tuesday night at the Campus Center.
Set scores for the match for Wilmington were 25-14, 23-25, 18-25, and 25-27.
The Wildcats (12-10, 8-2 CACC) came out hot in the first set, scoring the first six points in route to an 8-1 lead to start the match. Holy Family (15-3, 10-0 CACC) closed the gap to 13-9, but then the Wildcats scored the next five points to open an 18-9 lead. The team's traded points until the Wildcats led 21-14, and then two kills from Mandy Behiels, a Katie Bushong ace, and a block by Dorie Moore and Heather Pedrick gave the Wildcats the first set, 25-14.
The second set went back and forth between the top two teams in the South Division, with the Wildcats take an 8-7 lead before the Tigers answered and led 11-9. A kill from Angel Oliver and a block by Jessica Connelly tied the set, 11-11, but then the Tigers scored the next three points and the set was never tied again. The Wildcats got to within a single point on multiple occasions the rest of the way, but the Tigers always answered back. A Tiger error and a kill from Heather Pedrick brought the Wildcats to within 20-19, but a kill from Carly Covington put the Tigers back up by two. The teams then went on the see-saw the rest of the game, as a Tiger kill tied the match, 1-1, 25-23.
The Tigers turned a 2-0 Wildcat lead into a 7-2 deficit with seven straight points. The Wildcats scored four straight points to claw their way back into the game, 17-16, forcing Holy Family into a timeout. But the Tigers went on a 6-1 run out of the timeout, ending the set on an 8-2 run to take command in the match, 2-1, 25-18.
The Wildcats came out swinging in the fourth set, jumping out to an 11-4 lead after an Angel Oliver kill. But the Tigers responded with the next five points, forcing the Wildcats into a timeout. The run continued for the Tigers though, scoring another five points out of the timeout to take a 14-11 lead. The Wildcats scored three of four points to get back to within 21-19, but the Tigers again answered with two points of their won. A Tiger kill gave them match point, 24-21, but an error kept the Wildcats alive for Angel Oliver served an ace and Mandy Behiels put down a kill to tie the set, 24-24. The Wildcats fought off another match point with a kill from Mandy Behiels, but then the Tigers got back-to-back kills to end the set, 27-25, and the match, 3-1.
Heather Pedrick picked up her NCAA DII leading seventh triple-double of the year with 10 kills, 18 assists and a season high 21 digs while Mandy Behiels led the offense with 11 kills while adding 11 digs. Angel Oliver had eight kills on the night while adding one solo and three block assists. Pedrick, Behiels, and Oliver each added two aces as well.
The Wildcats outhit the Tigers, .161-.149, but the Tigers were able to gather more digs, 80-67.
The Wildcats will step outside the CACC for their next home contest, as they welcome Mercy to the WU Athletics Complex for a nonconference match on Thursday. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.