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Wilmington Comes Alive After Being Down Two Sets, Defeats Georgian Court to Advance to CACC Volleyball Championship
VB: S#1 Wilmington 3 - S#3 Georgian Court 2 - CACC Semifinal
Trailing two set s to none in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament semifinal, the Wilmington University volleyball team rallied for a monumental comeback, defeating Georgian Court, 3-2, to reach the CACC Championship for the first time since 2004, on Friday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
The CACC Tournament was originally scheduled to be played at Georgian Court in Lakewood, N.J., but Hurricane Sandy moved the semifinals and championship to the WU Athletics Complex this weekend.
The South Division’s top seeded Wildcats (28-5 overall) dropped the first two sets to the South Division’s third seeded Lions (16-16 overall) in extra points, but rallied back to show their mettle.
Set scores for the match were 26-28, 26-28, 25-22, 25-13, and 15-8.
With the win, coupled with Dominican’s victory in the first semifinal of the night, the Wildcats and the Chargers will meet for the CACC Championship on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. at the WU Athletics Complex. It is the first conference championship appearance for the Wildcats since 2004 when Wilmington won the regular season and the tournament championships.
To come back from a 2-0 deficit, the Wildcats relied on its defense to lead the way and they responded by tallying an 18-0 total block margin over the Lions for the match. Recently named CACC Player of the Year, Katie Shorter finished with four block solos and nine block assists, totaling 8.5 of the team’s 18 total blocks. Three players also collected double-digit digs on the night, led by first time starting libero Shelby Henderson who finished with 19.
Down 2-0 and trailing in the third set, the Wildcats were able to tie the game at 17-17 before trading points to 20-20. Wilmington was finally able to take the lead for good on a kill from Nicole Wiechecki at 21-20 and closed out the set at 25-22 with a termination from Shorter.
The Wildcats carried the momentum into the fourth set and opened up a 7-0 lead before the Lions were able to get on the board and rattled of another three points to take a 10-1 lead, forcing Georgian Court to use both its timeouts early in the set. Another six point run opened the frame up to 20-5 in favor of the home team before the Wildcats closed out the sent with a double block from Brittany Biddle and Alex Siolos, 25-13.
Georgian Court came out on fire in the fifth and deciding set, scoring the first four points and making Wilmington use its first timeout of the game. The Wildcats came out the timeout and scoring 10 consecutive points to take a commanding 10-4 lead. The teams traded the next five points before a kill from Kaitlin DiGiacinto and a double block from Biddle and Brooke Foskey put the Wildcats at match point. Foskey completed the comeback and ended the match with a kill, 15-8.
DiGiacinto led the Wildcats with 15 kills while Shorter added 12 on 25 attempts and a .400 attack percentage. Wiechecki collected 1 kills while Biddle chipped in with 10 more and only one error for a .375 hitting mark. Siolos effectively ran the office, dishing out a career best 41 assists in the win.
Siolos picked up the double-double by adding 10 digs on the night while sophomore Kasey Couch was the final Wildcat in double-figure digs with 11. Foskey added six kills and six block assists on the night while Siolos also added six block assists to her stat line. Biddle ended with five block assists as well.
Saturday’s match will be a White Out for the Wildcats, as all fans in support of Wilmington are encouraged to wear White to show their support as the team goes for its second CACC Championship in program history. The match is expected to start at 1 p.m.