Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Eile Harris (6) and Allison Briley (25) by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - Both the back row and the blocking scheme were on display on Thursday night for the Wilmington University volleyball team, as it swept Georgian Court, 3-0, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division match at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match were 25-7, 25-19, and 25-13. It was the first sweep of the Lions since the home match in the 2012 regular season.
The Wildcats (11-5, 5-1 CACC) out-dug the Lions (7-9, 4-1 CACC), 72-57, while also out-blocking them, 11-5, in the match. The Wildcats hit .257 as a team, holding the Lions to a negative .031 attack percentage for the match.
The service game of Alex Siolos fueled the Wildcats in the first set, as the Wildcats scored six consecutive points on her serve early in the match. That was on a string of seven straight points to open a 9-2 lead. Another 6-0 run on the strength of Miranda Shaw's serve put the home team ahead 20-5. Siolos gave the team set point with a kill before Megan Ward put the Wildcats ahead, 1-0, with an ace to end the first set.
The Lions jumped out quickly in the second set, taking as large a lead as 9-6 before the Wildcats started its comeback. A dump from Miranda Shaw started a 3-0 run as another Ward ace and a kill from Kaitlin DiGiacinto tied the set, 9-9. A solo block from Eile Harris gave the Wildcats a 12-10 lead and they never lost the lead again. Leading 20-10, the home team rattled off the final five points of the game, getting back-to-back kills from DiGiacinto and Allison Briley to finished off the Lions, 25-19.
Trailing 3-1 to start the third set, the Wildcats responded by going on an 11-3 to open a 12-6 lead. The Lions were able to get to within three points, 15-12, but the Wildcats scored three straight to open an 18-12 advantage. Following a Lions' block, the Wildcats took the set over, finishing off Georgian Court with the final seven points of the match. A double block by Ward and Briley put the Wildcats in front, 20-13, before four straight kills ended the match. Ward, Siolos, Brianna Cunha, and Ward capped the third set for the Wildcats, putting down terminations to finish the match, 25-13.
Siolos led the attack with 10 kills while DiGiacinto hit .409 with nine kills. Briley added seven kills and Ward hit .556 with five kills for the Wildcats.
Shelby Henderson paced the back row with 31 digs, while Siolos added a double-double with 11 ups. Briley chipped in with 10 digs defensively. Henderson's 31 digs were the second most in program history in a three-set match.
At the net, Harris paced the blocking game with two solo blocks and added five block assists. Briley got a hand on five block assists while Ward chipped in with four block assists. Siolos added three block assists while DiGiacinto rounded out the blocks for the Wildcats with one block assist.
The Wildcats will vie for their fourth straight victory on Saturday, as they host Bloomfield to kick-start the 2015 Homecoming Weekend for Wilmington University. Bloomfield, which defeated Caldwell, 3-2, on Thursday, leads the North Division with a perfect 5-0 CACC record. The first serve is set for 11:00 a.m. at the WU Athletics Complex.