Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - - Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference North Division's top seed Post came back from a 2-1 match deficit to overcome the Wilmington University volleyball team, 3-2, in the CACC Tournament Semifinal on Friday afternoon in the Wellness Center on the campus of Georgian Court.
Set scores for the match were 27-25, 20-25, 25-20, 18-25, and 11-15.
The Wildcats, the CACC South Division's number two seed for the tournament, finish their season at 23-10 overall, their sixth straight season with 20 or more wins.
The Post (24-9) defense seemed to be all over the court, as they were able to out dig the Wildcats, 117-95, enabling them to get more swings, 234-207, on the offensive side of the ball. The Eagles also out hit the Wildcats, .179 to .111, for the match.
The Wildcats initially led, 3-1, in the fifth set, but the Eagles fired back with a 4-0 run of their own to take a 5-3 advantage. A double block by Erin Bistany and Miranda Shaw brought the Wildcats to as close as 9-7, but the Eagles continued to push, going on a 5-0 run to stretch the lead to match point at 14-7. The Wildcats showed true grit till the last point, however, saving four match points with kills from Hannah Karas, Allison Briley, Eile Harris, and an Eagle error to bring the set to 14-11. CACC Player of the Year Skylar German put a ball into the block but it fell to the group to give the Eagles the 15-11 set and match, 3-2.
The Wildcats put the pressure on the Eagles for their late game comeback by winning the first set, 27-25. The Wildcats needed to make a comeback of their own late in the set to jump on top. Trailing 23-21, a pair of kills from Alex Siolos was sandwiched around a block by Siolos and Harris, tying the game at 23-23. Post was able to earn set point following a timeout, 24-23, but the Wildcats picked up another kill from Siolos to tie the game, 24-24. A kill from Kaitlin DiGiacinto gave the Wildcats set point, but the Eagles retaliated with a block of their own to again tie the game, 25-25. Another block by the Wildcats' Miranda Shaw and Bistany move the visitors ahead before a Siolos service ace gave the Wildcats the game, 27-25.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second set before the Eagles stormed back with a 7-1 run of their own, taking a 9-8 lead. Trailing 10-9, the Eagles used a 5-0 spurt to lead 14-10, before a kill from Briley and an Eagle attack tied the set at 16-16. Another mini 3-0 run for the Eagles gave them the lead that they wouldn't relinquish again. Three consecutive points out of a timeout put Post up 24-19 before Morgan Griffin tied the match, 1-1, with a kill.
An early 8-2 run in the third set gave the Wildcats a 10-8 advantage before another 4-0 spurt put the Wildcats up, 14-9. The teams traded 3-0 runs before Post was able to chip away at the score, getting it as close as 22-20. A Post service error started a 3-0 run for the Wildcats, as a solo block by Siolos and a kill from DiGiacinto gave the Wildcats the 2-1 match lead.
With their back against the wall, the Eagles scored eight of 11 points to lead 12-6 in the fourth set. A Bistany Kill brought the Wildcats to within four at 16-21, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way. German sent the match into a fifth and deciding set with a kill, 25-18.
The Wildcats out blocked the Eagles, 15-12, led by Harris' nine block assists. Siolos finished with seven block assists and a solo block while Bistany added five block assists.
Siolos and Briley finished with a double-double as Siolos led the way with 16 kills and 13 digs. Briley put down 14 kills while adding 10 digs. DiGiacinto led the hitters with a .156 attack percentage, collecting nine kills and 15 digs. Shelby Henderson led the way defensively with 35 digs while Shaw chipped in with 17 digs and 39 assists.
Four Wildcats played their last match on Friday, as DiGiacinto, Henderson, Hannah Karas, and Siolo have won 94 matches during their four-year career, capturing three CACC South Division Regular Season Championships.