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Wilmington Volleyball Falls in Straight Sets to Host New Haven to Kick-Off Charger Invitational
VB: New Haven 3 - Wilmington 0
Despite a well-played third set in which the Wilmington University volleyball team forced extra points, the Wildcats fell to New Haven, 3-0, in both team’s season opener at the Charger Invite on the campus of New Haven.
Set scores for the match were 17-25, 12-25, and 25-27.
New Haven (1-0), which received eight votes in the AVCA Top 25 Preseason Poll, jumped out to early leads in the first two games to set the tone before Wilmington (0-1) fought back late in the set to make it a match.
After a kill by Katie Shorter to make it 2-1 in favor of the Wildcats, the Chargers went on to score 10 straight, 14 of the next 15, and 17 of the next 20 points to take an 18-5 lead midway through the first set.
The Wildcat responded with the next six points to pull with seven at 18-11, and three straight points later in the set, ended by a block assist by Alex Siolos and Allison Briley, brought the Wildcats to without its closest margin of the set at 23-17. The Chargers closed out the set with the next two points.
The second set started the same way for the Chargers, jumping out to leads of 5-0, 9-1, and 13-3 before the Wildcats settled into the game. The Chargers denied the Wildcats any long runs in the second set, only getting as close as 21-11 late in the game.
The third set saw the Wildcats jump out to the early advantage as they scored six straight points to break a 2-2 tie and lead 8-2. They continued to keep the Chargers at bay before four consecutive points pushed a two point lead to six at 16-10.
Now leading 18-11, the Wildcats’ lead started to narrow as New Haven went on a 10-3 run to eventually tie the set at 21-21. Brittany Biddle gave the Wildcats a brief lead once more with a kill but the Chargers responded with back-to-back kills to take a 23-22 lead.
Kills by Briley and Siolos knotted the game on two separate occasions, the second to save a match point and tie the game 24-24. Kaitlin DiGiacinto staved off another match point with a kill to tie the game at 25-25, but it wasn’t enough as the Chargers scored consecutive points to take the set, and the match 27-25.
Shelby Henderson led the back line with 16 digs while DiGiacinto recorded 11 and a team high seven kills. Kasey Couch recorded a double-double with 10 assists and 10 digs, while fellow setter Siolos dished out a team high 14 assists. Shorter finished with a team high 3.5 blocks (five assists, one solo), while Siolos added six block assists. Briley, playing in her first collegiate match, recorded five assists, five digs, and two block assists.
As a team, the Wildcats hit .008 for the match, compared to .148 hitting percentage for the Chargers.
Wilmington remains at the Charger Invitational for another day, as the Wildcats will play Stonehill and LIU Post on Saturday to finish out the tournament. The first match of the day will start against Stonehill at 10 a.m. with the match against LIU Post starting at 1 p.m.