Delaware Picks Up Thrilling Victory in Wildcat Classic Finale as Hens Down St. Louis 3-2
September 15, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After falling to a pair of outstanding opponents at the Wildcat Classic Friday night at Northwestern, the University of Delaware volleyball squad knew it needed a victory Saturday to leave the Chicago area on a high note.
The Blue Hens got just what they wanted but had to work a little harder than they first imagined as Delaware let a 2-0 lead slip away before rallying to down St. Louis 3-2 in the finale of the two-day tournament at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Delaware (3-9), which fell to undefeated Northwestern and 2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 participant Western Michigan by 3-0 scores on Friday, earned a third place tournament finish as UD downed St. Louis (5-8) by scores of 25-21, 25-11, 21-25, 11-25, 17-15.
Freshman Katie Hillman led the Blue Hens with a team-high 16 kills while Alissa Alker added 10 kills and 15 digs, Katie Hank (at right) chipped in with 10 kills, Mackenzie Olsen dished out 43 assists, and Ariel Shonk recorded 25 digs. As a team, the Hens recorded 12 blocks, including six block assists from Chelsea Lawrence and five from Alker.
Hank earned a spot on the Wildcat Classic All-Tournament team thanks to her play during the weekend.
The Billikens were led by Lindsay Dinkelacker with 13 kills and nine digs while Cassie Clark added 12 kills, 33 assists, and seven digs, Megan Gilbert knocked down 10 kills, and Grace Bonoma added 21 digs.
The Blue Hens cruised out to a 2-0 lead after winning the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-11. Delaware led the entire first set after losing the first point of the match and then led from start to finish in game two, jumping out to leads of 13-2 and 19-9 on the way to the win.
After trailing for most of the third set, the Hens rallied late and cut the St. Louis margin to 24-21 before the Billikens won the final point. St. Louis then dominated the fourth set, jumping out to a 16-4 lead and never looking back.
Delaware fell behind 9-5 in the pivotal fifth set and eventually trailed by a 13-9 margin. The Hens finally tied the set at 14-14 on a combined block by Jill Meyers and Alker. St. Louis answered with a kill from Clarke but the Hens came right back on a kill by Hillman to knot the score at 15-15.
Delaware then closed out the match in thrilling fashion, getting a kill from Hillman for a 16-15 lead and winning on an attack error by Dinkelacker on the final play.
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