Blocks Carry Wilmington Volleyball to 3-1 Victory over USciences, Stay Alive in Playoff Race

Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Eile Harris and Deja Stanek on Senior Day, taken by Frank Stallworth.
Copyright 2017; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Eile Harris and Deja Stanek on Senior Day, taken by Frank Stallworth.

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team remains in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoff picture with a 3-1 victory over USciences on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.

Set scores for the match were 25-17, 21-25, 25-12, and 25-21.

Following a pregame ceremony to honor the 2017 Senior Class, the Wildcats (13-17, 9-8 CACC) took it to the Devils (6-15, 4-13 CACC) to remain in the hunt for the CACC Tournament. With the win, coupled with Georgian Court falling to Jefferson, the Wildcats and Lions are now tied for fourth place in the South Division with two matches remaining. The Lions hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Wildcats, however.

The middles again led the Wildcats as senior Eile Harris put down 12 kills on 20 attempts, finishing with a .500 hitting percentage. She also led the defense with six block assists while adding one solo block. Rebecca Rawlinson put down seven kills while adding two solo blocks and two block assists. The Wildcats out-blocked the Devils, 11-5.

After the Devils came back and tied the match, 1-1, the Wildcats grabbed momentum with a brilliant third set. They scored the first four points of the set before another 4-0 run gave the home team a 9-3 advantage. They continued to score two points for every one for the Devils, getting a Rawlinson service ace to double up the Devils, 20-10. Following a Devils' kill, Brittany Ford sparked a 3-0 run to end the third game, serving up an ace before Harris put down a kill for the 2-1 lead, 25-12.

The Devils didn't go away easily, however, as they came out in the fourth set and took a 6-3 lead. Trailing 9-7, the Wildcats started their comeback by rattling off six straight en route to a 8-2 run to take a 15-11 lead. The Devils climbed back to within a single point on multiple occasions, but the Wildcats were always able to keep the slight edge. Leading 22-21, Rawlinson put down a kill to start a 3-0 run to end the match. Miranda Shaw came up with an ace for match point before a bad set by the Devils ended the set, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.

Mandy Behiels added eight kills while the Wildcats hit .141 for the match. Their 11 blocks and 64 digs aided in allowing the Devils to only hit .023 for the match. Addalyn Flores led the defense with 23 digs while Jill Braunberg was the only other Wildcat to reach double figures with 11. Braunsberg finished with the only double-double for the Wildcats with 16 assists. Shaw added 18 assists to go along with four aces.

The Wildcats have two matches remaining, both against CACC South Division opponents. Their final home game of the regular season will be on Wednesday when they host Holy Family at the Complex. The Tigers are currently in second place in the South Division. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.