NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University volleyball team stayed in the driver's seat for a spot in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament with a 3-1 victory at USciences on Wednesday night inside Bobby Morgan Arena.
Set scores for the match were 29-27, 24-26, 25-15, and 25-23.
The Wildcats (17-11, 9-5 CACC) went down the middle on Wednesday night, getting a team high 15 kills from senior middle Rebecca Rawlinson. She only committed three errors on 24 swings for a .500 hitting percentage. She also held strong at the net, picking up four blocks, with three coming as block assists.
Wilmington used a 5-0 run to take a 23-21 lead late in the first set, but the Devils (6-9, 9-15 CACC) answered with a. 3-0 run of their own to earn set points, 24-23. After a timeout, an error tied the match, 24-24. The Devils had set point again at 25-24, and again at 27-26, but the Wildcats held them off each time. A service error gave the Wildcats the ball back, tied at 27-27, and Mandy Behiels served back-to-back aces to win the set, 29-27.
A 4-0 run gave the Wildcats a 22-19 lead in the second set, but the Devils battled back with three straight points to tie the set, 22-22. The Wildcats earned set points, 24-22, but the Devils fought off two set points, and then picked up two more points to come back and steal the second set, 26-24, tie the match at 1-1.
Down 7-5 in the third set, the Wildcats ran off seven straight in part of a 11-1 run to take a 16-8 lead. Three more points put the Wildcats ahead 19-10 before Behiels capped another 3-0 spurt to take a 23-13 lead. The teams traded points before Rawlinson gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead with a kill, 25-15.
The Devils had a 16-14 lead in a back and forth fourth set before a service error sparked a 5-1 run for the Wildcats. The Devils tied the set, 20-20, but back-to-back kills from Angel Oliver and Dorie Moore put the Wildcats back in front, 22-20. Rebecca Rawlinson gave the Wildcats match point, 24-21, with a kill, but the Devils held off the end for two points. Rebecca Rawlinson then ended the set, and the match, with her 15th kill of the night, giving the Wildcats the 25-23 victory.
Mandy Behiels finished with a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs, leading the team with four aces on the night. Bailey Andrews and Angel Oliver collected 11 kills each, with Oliver hitting .370 with only one hitting error.
Tori Wright led all hitters with 21 kills in the match.
The Wildcats return home for their next match, as they host Felician on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex. Saturday is also Senior for the Wildcats, as they will honor Rebecca Rawlinson and Emma Kongevold prior to the start of the match. First serve is set for 12:00 p.m.