Delaware Volleyball Drops Pair to Two Ranked Teams to Close Out Delaware ASICS Invitational
September 3, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - Playing its fourth American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 team in seven days, the University of Delaware ran into and dropped a 3-0 match to mid-west powerhouse and #14 Northern Iowa in the final match of the 35th Annual Delaware ASICS Invitational on Saturday.
Set scores for the match were 25-23, 25-16, and 25-18.
With the win, the Panthers (7-0) claimed the Tournament Championship, taking it away from two-time defending champion Delaware (1-5) on its home court.
Alissa Alker (above right) was named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 28 kills, 33 digs, five total blocks and three aces over the two day, three match tournament.
“I thought Alissa proved, hopefully to herself more than anybody else, that she could be our go-to player,” head coach Bonnie Kenny said of her junior outside hitter. “I thought she elevated her game and took it to another level against three really good teams this weekend.”
Katie Hank and Kim Stewart led the Blue Hens with eight kills a piece. Stewart hit .240 for the match and added seven digs defensively.
Renee Tomko dished out 28 assists while Cara Rosehill had a match high 20 digs from the libero position.
The first set was the most competitive in the final matchup of the Invitational, as Delaware fought back after an early timeout from Kenny.
Trailing 8-2 in the early going, Kenny needed to call a timeout to settle the team into the match. The mini-break seemed to work as the team fired back with 11 of the next 16 points to knot the score at 13-13.
UNI managed a four-point swing to retake a small lead before the Blue Hens five straight and six of seven points to grab a 20-19 lead.
Now on the seesaw, back-to-back attack errors by Shelby Kintzel gave Delaware a 23-22 lead, forcing the Panther to call their second time out of the set. But that would be all the points the Blue Hens would get in the set, as UNI got kills from Krista DeGeest and Amy Braun, sandwiched around a Delaware attack error to close out the set.
Delaware was in the second set through the first 30 points as a kill by Hank and back-to-back attack errors by the Panther cut the lead to 17-15 in favor of the visitors. But once again coming out of a timeout, Northern Iowa fired on all cylinders and took eight of the next nine points to claim the game.
Stewart led the charge in the early part of the third set, putting away three kills in four plays, and helped by two Panther errors as the Blue Hens took an 8-7 lead. Five plays later, a kill from Hank and an ace from Rosehill gave the Blue Hens an 11-10 lead once again, but that would be the final lead the hoe squad would muster.
Leading 19-17, the Panthers rattled off five straight points and six of seven, as a kill by Megan Lehman ended the set and the match in straight sets.
“They play a lot higher above the net and they are much more physical,” Kenny said following the match. “We have to respond to that. They are going to get kills like that and get fast points like that and we have to be able to answer. We really have to work hard on our offense. Our passing, our setting, our rhythm and our tempo have to get better.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the Blue Hens dropped a straight set decision to #25 Florida State, continuing its string of top 25 opponents.
Set score for that match were 25-20, 25-19, and 25-21.
Alker had match high 12 kills, and was one dig away from a double-double, tallying nine. Hank added 10 kills as the only other player in the match to reach double figure kills. Tomko dished out 30 helpers while Rosehill notched 11 digs followed by Stewarts’ 10.
“I thought it was one of the stronger preseason tournaments in the country,” Kenny said when talking about the entire ASICS Invitational. “I was happy to be a part of it and have it on our campus.”
Delaware gets back to action on Tuesday, September 6 when they travel to Villanova for a 7 p.m. match in Philadelphia.
#14 Northern Iowa def. Delaware, 3-0 (25-23, 25-16 and 25-18)
Delaware (kills – assists – digs): Hank (8-0-4); Tomko (0-28-4); Stewart (8-0-7); Alker (7-0-7); Lawrence (6-0-0); Evans (4-0-0); Rosehill (0-2-20); Reigel (0-1-6); Oemcke (0-0-2).
Northern Iowa: Payton (7-34-8); Lehman (9-0-1); Braun (5-4-10); Kintzel (4-0-1); Burow (11-1-2); DeGeest (14-1-3); Turk (2-2-9); Willms (0-2-11); Burke (0-3-13).
Total Team Blocks: Delaware 4; Northern Iowa 6
#25 Florida State def. Delaware, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19 and 25-21)
Delaware: Hank (10-1-6); Tomko (1-30-9); Stewart (7-0-10); Alker (12-1-9); Lawrence (8-0-0-); Evans (2-0-0); Rosehill (1-0-2-11); Bryant (0-0-0); Oemcke (0-6-4); Sebastian (3-0-0).
Florida State: Morgan (6-1-2); Stepanova (8-0-10); Djurdjevic (8-2-11); Neff (6-0-0); Duzceler (4-20-6); Walch (6-1-0); Mosher (0-5-12); Wickstrom (0-11-4); Freeman (6-0-0).
Total Team Blocks – Delaware 8; Florida State 10
35th Annual Delaware ASICS Invitational Tournament Team:
Alissa Alker – Delaware; Kristen Winkler – UC Irvine; Rachael Morgan – Florida State; Jekaterina Stepanova – Florida State; Amy Braun – Northern Iowa; Shelby Kintzel – Northern Iowa
MVP – Bre Payton – Northern Iowa
Tournament Champion – Northern Iowa
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