Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - Much like the first three game days in the 2015 Wilmington University volleyball season, the team split a pair of games on Saturday to round out the Wildcat Regional Invitational at the WU Athletics Complex, falling to Pace before defeating Le Moyne.
Set scores for the match against Pace were 25-12, 17-25, 21-25, and 16-25.
Set scores for the match against Le Moyne were 25-22, 27-25, 17-25, and 25-21.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start against Pace, taking as large as a 14-point lead in the first set. But the Setters responded by scoring 8-of-10 points in the middle the second set to take a 16-8 lead and never look back. Pace also turned around an 11-8 deficit into a 17-13 lead in the third before scoring the last five points of the fourth to take the match, 3-1.
Allison Briley led the offense with 12 kills while adding seven digs in the match. Miranda Shaw added a double-double with 32 assists and 10 digs while Shelby Henderson led the way with 15 digs. Erin Bistany collected two solo and two block assists in the loss as well.
Senior Kaitlin DiGiacinto tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 13 assists against Pace. Her eighth kill of the match was the 1,000th of her career, as she becomes the second student-athlete to record 1,000 kills in the Wildcats' NCAA era. She is also only the second student-athlete in the program to record 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills since 2004.
The nightcap fared better for the Wildcats as the team used its defense to give the Dolphins their first loss of the season. The Wildcats came up with 90 digs and 14 total blocks in the match, keeping the Dolphins to a .155 attack percentage. Offensively, the Wildcats hit .175 as a team.
A pair of three-straight points in the middle of the set gave the Wildcats some wiggle room, 17-13, before an Alex Siolos kill gave the team a 20-16 lead. Bistany gave the Wildcats set point with a kill before Shaw ended it, 25-22.
The Wildcats were facing set point in the second set, 24-23, but a ball handling error tied the set to give the Wildcats a chance. But the Dolphins received a kill to have set point again before back-to-back kills from Shaw and Siolos put the Wildcats ahead, 26-25. Wilmington went ahead, 2-0, as the Dolphins' Jessica Miller committed an attacking error.
The third set was all Le Moyne, as they scored six straight and 9-of-10 points to take an 18-9 lead. The Dolphins also scored five of the last eight points to finish out the set, 25-17.
The Wildcats bounced back and used a string of 8-of-9 points in the middle of the fourth set to take back control and lead 16-11. The Dolphins closed the gap to 21-20, but the Wildcats answered with kills by Bistany and DiGiacinto for the 23-20 lead. As a Dolphin point, DiGiacinto closed out the match with back-to-back kills, 25-21.
DiGiacinto led the offense with 13 kills, adding 21 digs for the double-double. Siolos was the only other Wildcat with double figure kills, adding 12 in the match. She also had a double-double with 15 digs. Bistany collected three more solo blocks and six more block assists while Shaw dished out 40 assists.
Bistany was named to the 2015 Wildcat Regional Invitational Team after posting 33 kills, a .225 attack percentage, five solo blocks, and 12 block assists in the team's four matches.
The Wildcats remain in the comforts of the WU Athletics Complex for their next four matches, first against USciences in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference season opener on Wednesday. The opening serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.
2015 Wildcat Regional Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP: #11 Aiden Garcia (Franklin Pierce)
#1 Sarah MacHugh (Franklin Pierce)
#1 Natalija Dordevic (AIC)
#3 Regina Trabosh (Chestnut Hill)
#19 Natalie Casson (LeMoyne)
#13 Katrina Janssen (Caldwell)
#7 Rachel Johnson (Holy Family)
#3 Rebecca Italiano (Pace)
#23 Erin Bistany (Wilmington)