Press Release Written by Athletics Operations Manager Rich Groff.
NEWARK, Del. - - In opening day action at the Wildcat Invitational, the Wilmington University volleyball team split a pair of matches on their home court, taking the win in the first match against Merrimack, 3-1, before losing the nightcap to American International, 3-0, on Friday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match against Merrimack were 20-25, 25-14, 25-20, and 25-18.
Set scores for the match against AIC were 25-19, 25-20, and 25-20.
The Wildcats (2-4) got off to a slow start in their first set against the Warriors, committing some untimely errors throughout the set. They bounced back in sets two, three, and four with timely blocking. They out-blocked their opponent, 9-2, in the opening match, including 14 block assists and two solo blocks. The Wildcats kept their attack errors to a minimum by only committing 16 for the match after finishing the first set with eight. The 'Cats tallied a kill percentage of .174 while holding the Warriors to a .057 attack percentage for the match.
Leading the way for the 'Cats was junior outside hitter Brittany Ford with nine kills and seven digs while sophomore teammate middle hitter Rebecca Rawlinson had eight kills and four total blocks. Senior libero Jenna Brown had a team high 21 digs to lead the way defensively while freshman Mandy Behiels added 16 digs.
In the nightcap, AIC outhit the Wildcats, .232 to .168, putting down 10 aces in order to take the match in straight sets. Ford again led the Wildcats on the offensive side of the ball, totaling 8 kills to go along with seven digs. Sophomore Jill Braunsberg led the team in digs with 20 while adding 10 assists for the double-double. Junior Miranda Shaw added a team high 16 assists while Rawlinson added six kills on 13 swings, finishing with a .385 attack percentage.
The Wildcats collected nine total blocks in the loss, including 16 block assists at the net. Emma Kongevold held the net for six block assists while Eile Harris chipped in with five block assists and one solo block. Rawlinson added three block assists while Braunsberg completed the task with two block assists.
The Wildcats will be right back in action on Saturday morning for two more games on the final day of the 2017 Wildcat Invitational as they take on Adelphi at 10:00 a.m. and Franklin Pierce at 4:00 p.m.