WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Blue Hen sophomore Maria Bellinger slammed 25 kills while the University of Delaware volleyball team sealed the victory by taking the final three points of the match as UD won its Colonial Athletic Association opener with a thrilling five-set win over William & Mary Thursday night at Kaplan Arena.

Delaware (3-8, 1-0 CAA), which won for the third time in its last four matches, captured the match by set scores of 25-20, 25-27, 25-19, 23-25, 15-9. The Tribe (2-12, 0-1 CAA) dropped its eighth match in a row,

Bellinger eclipsed the 20-kills mark for the third time in the last seven days, finishing with 25 against just six errors while hitting .322 on the night. Brooke Robertson established her career-high with 13 kills, while Daria Robinson added a season-best 12 and committed just one error to post a .524 hitting percentage.

Abby Skryd handed out 32 assists for the Blue Hens, while Courtnie Roberts posted her first career double-double with season-highs of 29 assists and 10 digs. Julia Hayes notched a career-high nine blocks to lead the defensive effort, while Maddie Judge made 20 digs.

Sydney Biniak paced the Tribe with 21 kills, while Julia Brown and Heather Pippus added 13 apiece.

The Blue Hens took the opening set by five points and had two set points in the second, but the Tribe battled back to knot the match at a set apiece. After the teams traded the next two sets, UD used a four-point run to jump ahead 4-1 in the fifth and led the rest of the way. William & Mary eventually closed within 12-9, but UD won the next three points, putting the match away on a Raven Luckett kill.

HEAD COACH SARA MATTHEWS
“We had a great team effort tonight. We are making progress on our first ball contact and starting to serve more aggressively and consistently. Maria (Bellinger) is doing some great things offensively and Daria (Robinson) had a tremendous match. Our setters are doing a great job distributing to the right people at the right time. I am really proud of our finish tonight."

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Bellinger surpassed the 500-kills mark for her career
• Delaware’s .295 hitting percentage and 14 blocks were its highest totals of the season
• UD held a commanding 14-4 blocks advantage
• Hayes’ previous career-high in blocks was five before posting nine vs. the Tribe
• The Blue Hens defeated William & Mary for the third straight meeting
• Delaware snapped a three-match losing skid in CAA openers
• UD improved to 2-1 in five-set matches this year

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
• Delaware at *Elon - Saturday, September 23 (7 p.m.)
• Delaware vs. *Northeastern – Friday, September 29 (5 p.m.)
• Delaware vs. *Hofstra – Sunday, October 1 (1 p.m.)

MEDIA INFORMATION: Kevin Tritt | ktritt@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8715 | Cell: 302-383-5005