Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team closed out the 2015 regular season with a sweep of Goldey-Beacom, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon while being led by their senior foursome at the WU Athletics Complex.
Set scores for the match were 25-10, 25-18, and 25-19.
The four seniors were honored prior to the start of the match for their tremendous careers, as all four are four-year letterwinners in the program. The group has led the program to 93 victories throughout the four years on campus, including three Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Regulation Season Championships and one trip to the CACC Tournament Championship match.
Saturday was no different for the Wildcats, as the hitters Alex Siolos and Kaitlin DiGiacinto paced the offense, the libero Shelby Henderson led the back row defense, and right side Hannah Karas led the team with six block assists.
The big run in the first set came off the service game of DiGiacinto, as she turned a 15-9 lead into a 23-9 lead with eight straight points. The Wildcats closed out the first set, 25-10.
Allison Briley turned the second set around for the Wildcats with her service game, but it was a kill early in the set that Briley will remember. Her second kill of the set proved to be the 1,000th of her career, becoming the first junior in program history to reach the feat. She joins teammates Siolos and DiGiacinto as active 1,000 career kill student-athletes.
Three straight points on Briley's serve gave the Wildcats an 18-10 lead before a kill from DiGiacinto put the Wildcats up 20-11. The Lightning (7-21, 2-17 CACC), tried to claw their way back into the set with a 5-0 run, but it was too little too late, as a Henderson service ace ended the set, 25-18.
Tied 3-3 in the third game, Siolos served the Wildcats to five straight points and an 8-3 lead, capping the run with back-to-back blocks by Kara and Bistany, and then Karas and Eile Harris. The Lightning fought back to tie the match on several occasions but as late as 14-14, but that brought Siolos back to the service line for the Wildcats. She picked up back-to-back aces and Karas put down a kill for the 18-14 lead and a pair of kills from Briley on Henderson's serve put the Wildcats up, 23-18. Siolos ended the match with a kill, 25-19.
Briley led the team with eight kills while hitting .375 for the match and adding six digs. Siolos capped her regular season with seven kills, 16 assists, and seven digs, while DiGiacinto and Bistany added six kills each. DiGiacinto added eight digs for the match while Henderson collected a match high 15. Karas put down three kills on top of her six block assists.
The Wildcats have one more home game left this season, as they host a CACC Tournament Quarterfinal match. The South Division's second seed will host the North Division's third seed, Caldwell, at the WU Athletics Complex, on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.