PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Tied late in sets, the Wilmington University volleyball team couldn't overcome Jefferson, falling in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division contest, 3-1, on Wednesday night inside the Gallagher Center.
Set scores for the Wildcats were 22-25, 18-25, 25-22, and 23-25.
The Wildcats (18-13, 12-6 CACC) outhit the Rams (22-9, 15-3 CACC) .139 to .125, getting the edge with a number of blocks in the match, 11-2. But the Rams had 10 aces in the match and had 15 more kills in the match, 58-43.
Mandy Behiels put the Wildcats ahead, 13-10, in the first set with a kill, but the Rams answered right back with three straight points to tie the game again. Wilmington led 17-15, but the Rams went on a 5-0 run to grab a 20-17 lead on a block error. The Wildcats closed the gap to within one on three separate occasions, the last being at 23-22, but the Rams scored the final two points to take the game, 25-22.
Four straight points but the Wildcats in the second set tied the game, 7-7, but the Rams used a 7-1 run to take control, 14-8. The lead grew to 17-10 as the Wildcats could only close the gap to 18-14 before the Rams extended the score out to 24-15. The Wildcats saved three set points before a kill finally gave the Rams the set, 25-18.
The Wildcats got off to a fast start in the third set, using a 5-0 run to start the game with an 8-2 lead. A Jenna Brown ace, followed by a kill from Rebecca Rawlinson and a block by Rawlinson and Bailey Andrews gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead. Another block by Jill Braunsberg and Rawlinson had the Wildcats in front 17-8 before the Rams made a comeback. A 5-0 spurt started a 10-2 run to close the gap to 19-18. The teams traded the next three points before Angel Oliver and Mandy Behiels came up with a block to push the lead to 22-19. But The Rams gained three straight points to tie the set, 22-22. An error gave the ball back to WilmU before back-to-back kills from Behiels kept the Wildcats alive, 25-22.
The Wildcats again got off to a quick start in the fourth set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead on a kill from Jill Braunsberg. The Rams used a 5-0 run to gain control in the game, 10-7, before the Wildcats rattled off a 6-2 run to regain the lead, 13-12. The set went back-and-forth as Rawlinson put down a kill, 19-19. The Rams scored back-to-back points for the 21-20 lead, and extended the lead out to 23-20. Following a WilmU Timeouts, the Wildcats got a kill from Braunsberg followed by back-to-back Ram errors to tie the set at 23. But the Rams scored the final two points of the set, 25-23, to take the match, 3-1.
Braunsberg came up with her second triple-double of the season, collecting 10 kills to go with 19 assists and 14 digs. Behiels led the Wildcats with 11 kills, adding 11 digs for the double-double. Rawlinson added nine kills to go with three solo blocks and three block assists for a team high 13.5 points. Miranda Shaw added 17 assists while Jenna Brown finished with a game high 27 digs.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season with a final CACC South Division match at USciences on Saturday. The match is set for a 12:00 p.m. first serve in Philadelphia.