Blue Hens Continue Impressive Play, Upset Northeastern 3-0 in CAA Tourney Opener
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The surging University of Delaware volleyball squad made quick work of Northeastern Friday night as the Blue Hens posted a 3-0 shutout victory over the Huskies in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament at UNCW's Hanover Hall.
The No. 6 seed Blue Hens, who have now won 9 of the last 11 games since mid-October, advance to the CAA Tournament semifinals where they will play No. 2 seed College of Charleston at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Delaware will play in the semifinals for the 10th time in league history but for the first time since the 2012 season,
Delaware, which evened its record at 15-15, defeated No. 3 seed Northeastern (20-11) for the second time in three weeks after posting a 3-2 victory at the Bob Carpenter Center on Nov. 4. Northeastern had earlier downed the Hens 3-0 in Boston back on Oct. 10.
The Hens won in straight sets by scores of 28-26, 25-18, and 27-25 for the victory. Senior Autumn Jenkins led the way with a match-high 12 kills while adding eight digs and setter Erin Layne continued her fine late-season play by dishing out 31 assists.
Jenkins, who has now reached double figures in kills 20 times this season and in 10 of the last 12 matches, surpassed the 1,000-dig mark for career during the match.
"I'm so proud of our team," said Delaware interim head coach Brian Toron. "Everyone was very engaged in this win. We are excited to be able to continue playing postseason volleyball in this tremendous conference."
"We showed so much tenacity and fight tonight," said Delaware junior middle hitter Daria Robinson (at right), who nine kills and hit .533 from the floor on the night. "We are a special team and I'm so honored to be part of it."
Jamie Bredahl had eight kills and 11 digs and Hannah Fry added seven kills but the Huskies hit just .050 for the game, recording 34 kills with 28 errors in 120 attempts.
In the opening set, the fell behind 7-2 and didn't tie things up until it was 24-24. The Hens won it on a kill by Swann and two NU attack errors.
Delaware trailed only once in the second set when the Hens went down 2-1, but they quickly earned he lead and posted victory by winning the four points of the set.
The Blue Hens wrapped up the win with the grueling 27-25 win in the final set. Delaware went up by a dominating 17-5 advantage but the Huskies rallied to finally tie things at 22-22.
After the Hens fell behind 24-23, Delaware got a kills from Robinson and a service ace from Bellinger to go up 25-24. Northeastern fought back to tie but Delaware put the set and the match away on a Jenkins kills to close things out.
• College of Charleston was the lone CAA team to sweep the Hens in 2016, winning by scores of 3-2 at home and 3-0 in Charleston, S.C.
• No. 5 Towson upset No. 4 Hofstra 3-0 in the other first round game and will play top-seed James Madison Saturday at 2 p.m.
• Delaware is making its 12th CAA Tournament appearance in 16 years but recorded its first tournament victory since a 3-1 semifinal win over James Madison in 2012
• The Blue Hen are 4-0 all-time vs. Northeastern in the CAA Tournament, including championship game wins in 2008 and 2010
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