NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team fell behind Rutgers by two sets but rallied for a thrilling five-set victory as the Blue Hens opened their home season in dramatic style with a 3-2 victory over the Scarlet Knights Friday night on the first day of the Delaware Invitational.

The Blue Hens, who improved to 4-4 on the year, won by set scores of 19-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-9.

Sophomore Katie Hillman led a balanced Delaware attack with 13 kills and 12 digs, recording her third double-double of the season. Redshirt sophomore Chandler Bryant added 11 kills on the evening, while senior Katie Hank was the third Blue Hen in double figures with 10 kills.

Sophomore Mackenzie Olsen handed out 48 assists and added 15 digs, while sophomore Ariel Shonk contributed a match-high 36 digs.

Alex Lassa blasted 24 kills while making 18 digs for the Scarlet Knights, who fell to 3-6 on the year. Nicole Bayer and Anna Sudbury combined for 46 assists, while Ali Schroeter had 26 digs.

After dropping the first two sets, the Blue Hens led for a majority of the third and fourth sets to pull even with Rutgers. Delaware won the first seven points of the fifth set, before the Scarlet Knights closed within 8-7. But UD ended the match with a 7-2 run, sealing the victory on a kill by Hank. “We got better as the match went on, and started executing in the middle and right side on offense,” said Delaware head coach Bonnie Kenny.

“Obviously we didn’t start out great, but we got better as the match went on. The bench was especially helped and engaged, and was a big part of this win.”

During the first match of the day, Furman defeated Sacred Heart, 3-1.

Match Notes:
• The contest was Delaware’s third five-set match of the campaign
• Delaware defeated Rutgers for the third consecutive meeting
Katie Hillman posted the fourth double-double of her career
• Hillman has led the Blue Hens in kills during each of the last six matches
Megan Blunden contributed nine kills for UD, tied for her second highest total of the year
• Olsen’s 15 digs were her second most of the year and she notched her second double-double of the season
• The Blue Hens host Sacred Heart at 1 p.m. and Furman at 7 p.m. as the tournament concludes on Saturday.