PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - After starting strong and hitting .267 in the first set, the Wilmington University volleyball team hit just .115 for the rest of the match, falling to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division foe Philadelphia, 3-1, on Tuesday night in the Gallagher Center.
Set scores for the match were 25-13, 21-25, 20-25, and 16-25.
Junior Alex Siolos, fresh off being named the CACC Player of the Week, collected her sixth triple-double of the season with 10 kills, 23 assists, and 14 digs, but it wasn't enough as the Wildcats (6-11, 3-2 CACC) dropped the final three sets. Philadelphia (5-8, 3-1 CACC) hit .219 for the match and out-blocked the Wildcats, 9-5.
Junior Kaitlin DiGiacinto also picked up a double-double for the Wildcats, putting down a team high 13 kills and adding 12 digs.
The Wildcats took it to the Rams early in the first set, jumping out to an 8-3 run with five straight points coming from a kill by Allison Briley and then the service game of Jessica Starr. Leading 16-11, the Wildcats put a string of six consecutive points together to take a 22-11 lead before a kill and a block by Eile Harris produced set point. The Wildcats took the first set on a Ram attacking error.
The Rams led the second set, 9-3, before the Wildcats started their comeback bid. Back-to-back points on kills from Angela Collins and Siolos brought the Wildcats to within four at 15-11, while a kill from DiGiacinto brought the Wildcats to within three at 17-14. The Wildcats forced a Ram timeout with consecutive points to bring the score to 23-20, but the Rams received a kill from Corinne Justus to reach set point. Philadelphia tied the match with a kill from Lauren Laucella, 25-21.
The third set went back and fourth as neither team could hold command for very long. The Rams scored four straight points to take a 10-8 lead early on, but the Wildcats later tied the set with three straight points to reach 12-12. At 17-17, the Rams scored four straight points to grab momentum as the Wildcats could only punch their way back to as close at 22-19. The home team took three of the final four points to take the lead in the match, 2-1.
The Wildcats fought back from an early 7-4 disadvantage in the fourth set to tie the match at 10-10 with a kill from DiGiacinto. But the Rams ran off three straight points and nine of the next 10 points overall to take a 19-11 advantage. Kills from Briley, Erin Bistany, and DiGiacinto had the Wildcats at 22-15, but the Rams took three of the next four points to take the set, 25-16, and the match, 3-1.
Senior setter Kasey Couch added a double-double with 14 assists and 13 digs while junior libero Shelby Henderson led the team with 19 digs. Bistany and Brilley led the team with two block assists each while Siolos and Harris tallies the lone solo blocks on the night.
Wilmington returns to action and to the WU Athletics Complex this weekend when they host Holy Family on Friday night at 7 p.m., and CACC North Division foe Caldwell on Saturday at 12 p.m.