NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team closed out the 2022 Wildcat Regional Invitational with a win over Saint Rose, going 1-1 on Saturday with a tough five-set loss to New Haven at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores against New Haven were 25-21, 23-25, 25-18, 23-25, and 15-6.
Set scores against Saint Rose were 25-15, 26-24, and 25-21.
Match vs. New Haven:
The Wildcats (2-10) were in every set against the Chargers, but couldn't pull it out in the end. The Wildcats were tied, 21-21, in the first before the Charges scored the final four points to take the lead.
They led the majority of the way in the second set before the Chargers scored four straight to claw back to within 21-20. Tied 23-23, Kacey Affrunti tied the match with back-to-back kills to win the set, 25-23.
The Wildcats were down 20-11 in the third before running of seven of the next eight points to claw to within 21-18. But the Chargers regained the lead, 2-1, by scoring the final four points of the third, 25-18.
Wilmington jumped out early in the fourth set, leading 11-7. The teams traded points before a 5-2 run by the Wildcats saw the hosts leading 23-17. The Chargers made a set of it, scoring six straight to tie the score, 23-23, but a block by Kacey Affrunti and Katie Bushong gave the Wildcats set point. Sydney Barrett tied the match with a kill, 25-23.
But the Wildcats couldn't keep the momentum going into the fifth set, as New Haven used a 7-2 run to take a 9-4 lead. Another four straight gave the Chargers a 13-5 lead before they ended the match, 15-6.
Kacey Affrunti put down 17 kills while adding five block assists and a solo block. Heather Pedrick put down 10 kills to go with 23 digs. Elly Collins had 33 digs while Ki'i Rilveria collected 13. Katie Bushong dished out 39 assists.
Match vs. Saint Rose:
The Wildcats wouldn't exit the 2022 Wildcat Regional Invitational without a win, stepping up to take the Golden Knights in straight sets.
Trailing 15-13 in the second set, the Golden Knights scored five consecutive points in route to a 8-1 run to take a 21-16 lead. Still trailing 22-17, the Wildcats made the comeback to keep the sweep alive. Kacey Affrunti put down back-to-back kills before Brice Hansen collected a termination and Heather Pedrick served an ace to close the gap to 22-21. Saint Rose took a 23-21 lead but a block by Jess Connelly and Affrunti tied the set, 23-23. Saint Rose earned set point, 24-23, but then the Wildcats scored three straight point to take the set, ending the frame with a block by Jess Connelly and Dorie Moore, 26-24.
The Wildcats then raced out to a 9-3 lead in the third set and then used a 7-1 run to put the game and match away. Ashley Weaver gave the Wildcats match point, 24-16, but the Golden Knights wouldn't quit, getting to within 24-21. Shannen Litten then put down a kill to end the match, 25-21.
Kacey Affrunti hit .520 with 14 kills and only one error, adding four block assists to lead the Wildcats. Heather Pedrick added nine kills while hitting .333, adding 13 digs as well. Brice Hansen put down eight kills with 13 digs as well. Katie Bushong dished out 38 assists in the win.
The Wildcats will rest until Thursday when they welcome Georgian Court to the WU Athletics Complex for a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division battle. The first serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.