Penn Rallies From Two Sets Down To Defeat University of Delaware, 3-2, in Volleyball Thriller
September 18, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team played its second consecutive five-set thriller on Wednesday but the Blue Hens could not pull off their second straight win as Penn rallied from two sets down to post a 3-2 victory at the Bob Carpenter Center.
The Blue Hens (3-10), coming off a five-set win over Saint Louis Saturday night in the Northwestern Wildcat Classic, took the first two sets over the Quakers (5-5) before dropping the final three. Penn won by game scores of 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 26-24, and 15-13.
Blue Hen senior outside hitter Alissa Alker led the way for the Blue Hens with 20 kills and a career-high 36 digs, as she surpassed the 1,100-kill mark for her career. Fellow senior Chelsea Lawrence (at right) also had a big night, as she posted a career-high tying 18 kills against just one attack error to hit an impressive .347 for the match. Freshman Katie Hillman set her career-high with 17 kills as well while hitting .200 for the match.
UD rookie Mackenzie Olsen handed out 67 assists and came up with 24 digs on the night, while classmate Ariel Shonk added a team-high 40 digs and Kori Reigel chipped in with 12.
Amanda Pacheco had 15 kills against just one attack error to hit .412 for the Quakers, Alex Caldwell added 15 kills, and Kristen Etterbeek and Emma White each contributed 14. Ronnie Bitter dished out 41 assists while posting 21 digs for Penn, while Dani Shepherd recorded a match-best 46 digs.
The first set was extremely tight early on, as neither team led by more than two points through most of the stanza. Delaware scored two straight points to take a 10-8 lead, but the Quakers quickly answered with four consecutive points to regain the lead. However after the Blue Hens pulled back ahead, Delaware scored four of five points to take its largest lead of the set at 19-15 following a White service error. Penn rebounded to knot the set at 21-21 but Delaware countered with two straight points, while a Lawrence kill eventually ended the set at 25-22. The second set was also close in the early stages, before the Blue Hens opened up an 11-7 advantage following kills by Alker and Hillman. However Penn answered back with four consecutive points, and after the teams were knotted at 16-16, the Quakers used a three-point run to go up 19-16. Following a Delaware time out the Blue Hens scored three straight points to pull even, but again Penn scored three in a row right back to take a 22-19 margin. But Delaware would not go away, recording four straight points to take the lead at 23-22 on a Hillman kill. After each team scored a point, Hillman added another kill to put the set away. The third stanza was even at 9-9 before Penn took control by taking the ensuing four points. However Delaware answered right back, going on a 6-2 spurt to even the set at 15-15. After each team won a point the Quakers went back ahead with three consecutive points, and eventually put the set away on a kill by Caldwell. Delaware jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the fourth set, and increased the margin to 11-7 following an attack error by the Quakers’ Etterbeek. The Blue Hens still were up 13-10 but the Quakers answered with three straight points, and the teams were still tied at 17-17 a few moments later. The set went back and forth from there, as Delaware fought off one set point when Logan Sebastian delivered a kill, but a kill by Bither followed by a Quakers block gave Penn the set.
Like the previous four, the fifth set was also extremely competitive. The teams were tied at 9-9 before three straight points by the Blue Hens, including the final point by Lawrence, put Delaware ahead 12-9. However the Quakers answered with three points of their own, and after the set was tied at 13-13, kills by White and Pacheco gave Penn the victory.
Delaware returns to action on Friday when the Blue Hens open Colonial Athletic Association play with a 7 p.m. match at Towson.
Back To Volleyball Home Volleyball Story Archive