WALTHAM, Mass. - - The Wilmington University women's volleyball team won its first set of the 2017, but dropped a pair of matches to Southern New Hampshire, 3-1, and Caldwell, 3-0, on Friday afternoon to start the Hoffman Memorial Invitational hosted by Bentley University.
Set scores for the match against SNHU were 25-18, 17-25, 17-25, and 13-25.
Set scores for the match against Caldwell were 20-25, 23-25, and 15-25.
The Wildcats hit .250 in the first set against the Penmen, putting down 11 kills on 28 attempts with only four errors. But only managed a .105 hitting percentage in the final three sets of the match.
Senior Eile Harris led the Wildcats with 10 kills, hitting .280 on 25 attempts. Sophomore Jill Braunsberg hit .368 with eight kills and only one error, adding 15 assists and six digs in the match. Deja Stanek hit .312 with six kills and only one error, but the Wildcats committed 19 errors as a team.
The Penmen also out-dug the Wildcats, 72-51, leading to more opportunities offensively. Jenna Brown led the Wildcats with 17 digs while newcomer Brittany Ford added 10. Miranda Shaw dished out a team high 16 assists.
Facing a familiar opponent in the nightcap, the Wildcats were edged by Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference foe Caldwell in the first two sets. The Wildcats were as close as 19-18 in the first before the Cougars pulled away late. The Wildcats clawed back from an early 9-2 deficit in the second set to get within 24-23, but Caldwell finished it off for the 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats hit .062 against the Cougars, including negative .083 in the third and final set. Rebecca Rawlinson and Braunsberg led the Wildcats with six kills each while Braunsberg added team highs of 10 assists and 14 digs. Brown chipped in with 13 digs while Rawlinson added one solo and three block assists at the net.
Harris finished with the fourth most aces in a single match in Wildcat program history, delivering seven aces against the Cougars. She also added three kills and two solo blocks.
The Wildcats continue the Hoffman Memorial Invitational on Saturday when they play host Bentley at 10:00 a.m. before wrapping up the season opening tournament against Mercy at 1:00 p.m.