Delaware Volleyball Comes From Behind, Uses All Five Sets to Defeat Host Rice, 3-2
August 26, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HOUSTON - - Trailing two sets to one, the University of Delaware volleyball team took the final two games over Rice to jump start the 2011 season at the Rice Invitational on Friday night. Set scores for the match were 22-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, and 15-11.
Three Blue Hens (1-0) recorded double-doubles for the match, led by junior Alissa Alker’s 17 kill, 13 dig performance. Sophomore Katie Hank (above right)hit .350 on 40 swings, tallying 18 kills and 11 digs, both career highs.
Senior Setter Renee Tomko also set career totals as she dished out a game high 59 assists and added 12 digs.
Defensively, sophomore libero Cara Rosehill led the team with 26 digs. Classmate Karina Evans held down the net collecting eight total blocks from the middle hitter position.
To claim the second set and tie the match at one apiece, Delaware used a 6-1 run early in the set to take the lead; a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Coming out of a timeout, the Blue Hens took four straight points to extend the lead to 23-13 before setting for a final of 25-20.
Rice (0-1) jumped out to an early lead in third set as Jordan Meredith put down a kill to make it 10-3. Delaware got it to as close to three points, but it was on set point for the Owls and they closed it out 25-21.
Delaware scored six of seven points to take a 6-4 lead in the crucial fourth set before extending their lead to as many as six at 18-12. The Owls cut it to 23-21, but kills by Hank closed out the set to even the match at two sets apiece.
The fifth and deciding set was all Delaware early, as they bolted out to a 5-0 lead on kills from Hank, Alker and three Rice attack errors. The teams went back and forth until Rice closed the gap to 12-10 on a Blue Hen error. But Alker scored two of the next three points before middle hitter Chelsea Lawrence closed out the match with a kill from Tomko, 15-11.
Jillian Humphrey led the Owls with 16 kills and a .357 hitting percentage. Meredith finished as only one of two Rice players with a double-double (10 kills, 12 digs). Megan Murphy passed out 54 assists and tallied 16 digs.
The Owls out dug the Blue Hens, 88-77, and collected more assists (67-63) kills (71-64), while Delaware ended with more total blocks (16-9).
The Blue Hens return to action on Saturday, as they square off against Stanford, ranked number six in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, at 5 p.m. eastern.
Delaware def. Rice, 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 15-11)
Delaware (kills-assists-digs): Hank (18-0-11); Tomko (1-59-12); Stewart (10-1-9); Alker (17-1-13); Lawrence (8-1-2); Evans (6-0-4); Rosehill (1-1-26); Walton (2-0-0); Sebastian (1-0-0).
Rice: Meredith (10-1-12); Cole (13-0-3); Murphy (8-54-16); Humphrey (16-0-3); Bache (8-0-7); McNamara (14-3-5); White (0-7-26); Shepard (0-0-0); Arenas (0-2-15); Riddlesprigger (0-0-1); Jenkins (2-0-0)
Total Team Blocks: Delaware – 16, Rice – 9
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