Alker Leads University of Delaware Volleyball Past Sacred Heart, 3-1, Snapping a Six-Match Losing Skid
September 9, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - - Led by Alissa Alker’s 16 kill, 16 dig performance, the University of Delaware volleyball team snapped a six-game skid by defeating Sacred Heart, 3-1, in the opening match of the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational on Friday night at the Comcast Pavilion.
Alker (at right) paced the Blue Hen (2-6) attack with a .333 hitting percentage, while adding three block assists and a solo block.
The win was the first since the opening match of the season for Delaware, while Sacred Heart dropped its second match of the season, snapping a six-match win streak. The Pioneers (6-2) lost its opening match of the season before winning their next six.
Tonight was the fourth team the Blue Hens have faced this season that earned a berth into the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Offensively, Katie Hank joined Alker as the lone Blue Hens with double-digit kills, finishing with 14. She committed only three errors on the night, hitting at a .297 clip.
Renee Tomko dished out a match high 40 assists and also contributed nine digs and a solo block.
Sophomore libero Cara Rosehill (at left) led the team with 19 digs, followed by Alkers 16 and Kim Stewart’s 15 to pace the backline. All told, the Blue Hens had a hand in 71 digs on the night.
Down for the majority of the first set, the Blue Hens scored five straight points, capped by a Hank kill to take the lead 20-19. Tied at 20-20, the Hens rattled off four of the next five points to gain set point after an ace by Rachel Oemcke.
Out of a Pioneer timeout, they rallied to score the next three points and tie it at 24-24 and take it to extra points. After SHU tied it at 25-25, a block by Stewart and Chelsea Lawrence gave the Hens their fifth set point. Delaware won the set on an attack error by Sacred Heart.
The Hens were down early once again in the second set, rallying back to take the lead at 11-10. The score went back and forth until a kill by Hank and a hitting error on the Pioneers gave Delaware a 23-21 lead. Sacred Heart cut it to within one again at 24-23, but a service error gave UD the 2-0 commanding lead.
The third set went all Sacred Heart’s way, as a mid-game run allowed them to take the set easily. Leading 12-10, the Pioneers used a 9-3 run to gain their largest lead of the night. They stayed on that pace to take the third set, and stay alive, 25-18.
Head coach Bonnie Kenny needed to take an early timeout in the fourth set, trailing 8-3. But after the break, the Blue Hens responded with a match clinching comeback. An ace by Hank and a SHU attack error gave Delaware the lead at 13-12.
Now on the seesaw, the teams went back and forth before three consecutive points for the Hens gave them a 22-19 lead. Terminations from Alker and Lawrence gave the Hens match point leading 24-20. Stewart eventually put the Pioneers away with a match-ending kill from Tomko.
Kimmee Roleder, who had match highs of 18 kills and 27 digs, led sacred Heart. Megan Pulone handed out 27 helpers while Alissa Mesa also added 16 assists.
Delaware remains at the invitational for two matches tomorrow against Yale and host Maryland. The first match is set for 10, with the nightcap concluding the tournament at 7 p.m.
Delaware def. Sacred Heart, 3-1 (27-25, 25-23, 18-25, and 25-21)
Delaware (kills-assists-digs): Hank (14-0-8); Tomko (0-40-9); Stewart (5-0-15); Alker (16-1-16); Lawrence (5-1-2); Evans (6-0-0); Rosehill (0-1-19); Reigel (0-0-1); Oemcke (0-0-1).
Sacred Heart: Sage (8-1-5); Mercado (13-1-10); Roleder (18-1-27); Pulone (0-27-4); Young (9-1-0); Ovsenek (6-4-1); Morales (0-1-0); Hetherington (4-0-3); Mesa (0-16-3); Colberg (1-5-13); Bauch (0-0-0).
Total Team Blocks: Delaware 12; Sacred Heart 5
Back To Volleyball Home Volleyball Story Archive