Delaware Can’t Complete Comeback Over UC Irvine, Falls 3-2 in Opening Match of Delaware Invitational
September 2, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - In a match featuring two evenly talented teams, the University of Delaware volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to UC Irvine in the second match of the 35th Annual Delaware ASICS Invitational on Viera Court on Friday night.
Set scores for the match were 25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 16-25 and 15-9.
Delaware (1-3) swung the momentum back in its favor with a dominating fourth set, but couldn’t put the finishing touches on the comeback, dropping the fifth set by six points.
Katie Hank paced the offense with 14 kills, followed closely by Kim Stewart with 13. Stewart recorded a double-double by adding 11 digs on the night.
Renee Tomko also posted a double-double, dishing out 42 assists with 12 digs. Cara Rosehill had a team high 22 digs for the match.
In a back and forth battle, UC Irvine (3-1) took control of the match with a commanding 25-17 win in the third frame.
Leading 11-9, the Anteaters went on a 6-1 run, forcing head coach Bonnie Kenny to call a timeout. The closest the Blue Hens would get however, would be six points following a kill by Chelsea Lawrence to cut it to 21-15.
Delaware responded in a big way in the fourth set to tie the match at two games apiece.
Knotted at 12-12, the Blue Hens used six straight Irvine attack errors, including a double block by Tomko and Lawrence, to take an 18-12 lead. The Anteaters burned both their timeouts in the process.
Stewart and Lawrence recorded back-to-back kills and another error by the visitors gave the Blue Hens their biggest lead at 21-13. UC Irvine cut it to as close as six at 21-15, but a kill from Hank, an ace from Stewart and a service error by Kristen Winkler ended the set, 25-16.
The Anteaters jumped out to an early lead in the fifth and deciding set, a lead too large for the home team to recover from.
Tied at 5-5, Irvine scored the next tree points to go into the mini-break. A service ace from Rosehill cut it to 9-8, but that is as close as the Blue Hens would come. Back-to-back blocks by the Anteaters ended the match.
“I was really disappointed with how we played in the fifth game,” said Kenny. “Our juniors and seniors have to perform in the fifth game, and we just didn’t do that. We got on target with playing better side-out volleyball and then we went downhill in the fifth game. And we can’t play like that against a team like in our house.”
The loss was the first loss for the Blue Hens in the Delaware Invitational since 2008, when they lost the championship match to Michigan State.
In the first match of the Invitational, AVCA ranked no. 14 came back from down two sets to defeat #25 Florida State, 3-2. UNI had five players with double digit kills, led by Krista DeFeest with 18. Jakaterina Stepanova had a match high 19 kills for Florida State.
Set scores for the match were 23-25, 15-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-13.
Delaware has a chance to respond with two matches on Saturday, first against Florida State at 12:30 p.m. The Hens will close the tournament with a matchup against Northern Iowa on 7 p.m.
Prior to tonight’s match, the team unveiled two banners that were hung in the rafters of the Carpenter Sports Building and Viera Court. Two members, Greta Gibboney and Jess Chason, of the 2010 Blue Hen squad were on hand to help present the 2010 CAA Tournament Championship and the 2010 NCAA Tournament banners above the court. The team also received its CAA Tournament Championship rings following the match.
“Its always good to celebrate championships. It’s the past though so we need to move forward. (2010 seniors Jess Chason, Katie Dennehy, Paige Erickson and Greta Gibboney) Great leaders. Great people. They did so much for this program. Hopefully we have some young ladies that will step into those shoes and fill them pretty quickly.”
UC Irvine def. Delaware, 3-2 (25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 16-25 and 15-9)
Delaware (kills – assists – digs): Hank (14-0-8); Tomko (0-42-12); Stewart (13-0-11); Alker (9-0-17); Lawrence (7-0-1); Evans (2-1-1); Rosehill (0-0-22)l Oemcke (0-0-2).
UC Irvine: Hauser (9-0-2); Squires (18-0-15); Olsen (9-1-7); Carls (3-38-4); Acres (7-0-7); Fleming (8-0-0); Nabbout (0-2-2); Winkler (0-3-24); Yoder (1-2-5).
Total Team Blocks: Delaware – 12; UC Irvine - 7
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