Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Kaitlin DiGiacinto by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team gave Bloomfield its first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference loss of the season, coming out on top in the back-and-forth five-setter, 3-2, on Saturday morning at the WU Athletics Complex to kick start the Homecoming Weekend.
Set scores for the match were 18-25, 25-20, 25-10, 16-25, and 15-5.
The Wildcats (12-5, 6-1 CACC) extended its winning streak to four consecutive matches, taking down the CACC North Division leaders Bloomfield (11-1, 5-1 CACC). The Wildcats turned it on in the third set to take a 2-1 lead in the match, hitting .407 as a team to grab the momentum. When the match was all-square at 2-2, the Wildcats turned it on again, hitting .4-9 in the fifth and deciding set, committing only one error.
The match was evenly contested throughout, with the Wildcats narrowly leading in kills, 54-50, hitting percentage, .165-.116, assists, 50-46, service aces, 11-7, and digs, 105-97. The Bears were able to out-block the Wildcats, 14.5-10.
After taking in the first set, the Bears used an 8-2 run to begin the second set to take a 9-7 lead in game two. The Wildcats battled back to tie the match, 13-13, before three straight points gave them the lead, 16-14. The Bears held a 19-18 lead late, but the Wildcats scored back-to-back points to regain the lead, 20-19. Now tied, 20-20, Kaitlin DiGiacinto started a string of five-straight points to tie the match, 25-20.
The Wildcats jumped all over the Bears in the third set, scoring the first four points, and taking a 9-2 lead early. Five straight points on Shelby Henderson's service rotation gave the home team a 15-4 lead before kills from Allison Briley and Megan Ward put the Wildcats on top, 20-6. DiGiacinto sparked the final four points for the Wildcats, getting-back-to-back service aces from Alex Siolos to cap the set, 25-10.
A 10-0 in the middle of the fourth set swung the momentum back in favor of the Bears, as they turned a 13-13 set into a 23-13 set. The Bears eventually tied the match, 2-2, with a 25-16 fourth set victory.
Courtney MacDonald started serve for the Wildcats in the fifth set, picking up a pair of aces to lead the team to a quick 5-0 lead. Now leading 6-2, the Wildcats got kills from Alex Siolos, and two from Briley to extend the lead to 9-2. Kills from Siols and Briley again extended the lead for the Wildcats, 14-4, giving the home team set and match point. Briley ended the fifth set and the match with her 13th kill of the match.
DiGiacinto became the program's all-time leading point getter in the NCAA era, putting down 15 kills and adding a block assist to surpass the previous mark of 1267.0 set by Kristin Wiedeman (2004-06). She added 23 digs for the double-double as well.
Siolos led the Wildcats with 18 kills on the afternoon, adding 11 digs for the double-double. She also put down six service aces in the match while adding six assists and four block assists.
Briley rounded out the Wildcats offense in double figures, collecting 13 kills while adding 18 digs for the double-double. Miranda Shaw paced the offense with 41 assists while Eile Harris led the defense at the net with three solo blocks and two block assists. Shelby Henderson led the Wildcats with 29 digs.