Blue Hen Volleyball Falls To Columbia, Texas A&M Friday on First Day of University of Delaware Invitational
September 7, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The Blue Hen volleyball team dropped a 3-1 match to Columbia and a 3-0 decision to Texas A&M on Friday on the first day of the 36th Annual University of Delaware Invitational.
In the first match of the day, Columbia took the contest by game scores of 25-23, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22. Senior Alissa Alker and freshman Katie Hillman (at right) each recorded a team-high 13 kills during the match, while senior Chelsea Lawrence added 11 kills against just two attack errors to hit .474 for the contest.
Freshman Ariel Shonk had 16 digs for the Blue Hens, while classmate Mackenzie Olsen (at left) added 12 to go with a team-high 48 assists.
Megan Gaughn led Columbia (2-3) with 12 kills and zero attack errors to hit .400 for the match, while Taylor Voss had 23 assists and Molly Winger posted a team-high 14 digs. The Lions also held a commanding 13-3 edge in blocks, led by seven from Heather Braunagel.
Delaware, now 1-6 on the season, jumped out to an early 7-4 lead over the Lions in the opening game and maintained the advantage for most of the set as a Lawrence kill made it a 20-16 margin. However Columbia quickly answered with five consecutive points to take the lead, and after the teams were tied at 23-23, Braunagel posted a kill and then teamed with Colleen Brennan for a block to give Columbia the set.
The second game was tied at 9-9, but Columbia then won 10 of the next 13 points to jump out to a 19-12 lead and force a Delaware timeout. The Blue Hens would not get closer than six points the rest of the way as the Lions took a two-game advantage.
The third game was also close early on, as the teams were again knotted at 9-9. However Delaware took control by winning the next five points and eventually increased its margin to 19-12, forcing a Lions timeout. Columbia closed to within 22-17, but two straight kills by Katie Hank and one by Chandler Bryant put the set away for the Blue Hens.
The fourth set was again evenly matched, but after the teams were tied at 15-15, two straight Columbia points gave the Lions the lead for good. Delaware was still within two points at 24-22 but Caitlin Brenton closed the match with a kill to give Columbia the victory, which was played in front of a spirited crowd which included students from nearby Warner Elementary.
The Blue Hens then came back during the night session to face Texas A&M which is receiving votes in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll, falling to the Aggies by game scores of 25-12, 25-23, 25-16.
Hillman paced Delaware with eight kills during the match, while Alker added six kills and 10 digs. Shonk again led the squad with 20 digs, while Olsen recorded 24 assists. Alisia Kastmo paced a balanced Texas A&M attack with 10 kills against no errors to hit .667 for the match, while Kelsey Kinley posted a team-high 14 digs.
In the opening game, Texas A&M jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and forced a Delaware timeout. Hillman immediately answered with a kill for the Blue Hens, but the Aggies would gradually extend their advantage to 20-9 late in the set. Kills by Kastmo and Tori Mellinger closed out the set for Texas A&M, 25-13. Delaware stayed with the Aggies early in the second game, as Katrina Evans and Logan Sebastian kills brought the Blue Hens within 10-9. Texas A&M extended its cushion back to 20-15 but Delaware would not quit, as a Sebastian kill capped a five-point UD run that knotted the game at 20-20. However the Aggies rallied with two straight points, while an Allie Sawatzky kill closed the game to give Texas A&M a 25-23 margin.
The teams were knotted at 6-6 early in the final set, before the Aggies rolled off six of the next seven points to extend the lead to 12-7. It was still just a five-point game at 15-10 followed by a Hillman kill, but Texas A&M responded with four consecutive points to go up 19-10 and force a Delaware timeout. The Blue Hens would not get closer than seven points from there, as an Allie Sawatzky block closed out the match.
In the first match of the day the Aggies posted a 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-16) win over Xavier, while the Musketeers defeated Columbia 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-19) during the day’s third match.
The invitational concludes on Saturday when Texas A&M faces Columbia at 4:30 p.m. and Delaware takes on Xavier at 7 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.
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