Volleyball claims first two sets, but still loses match
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 21:09
In the first two sets of the Delaware women’s volleyball game Wednesday at the Bob Carpenter Center against the University of Pennsylvania, it seemed as if the Hens were going to improve to 4-9 on the season.
And then the last three sets just went wrong.
After winning the first two sets by a score of 25-22 and 25-23, Delaware entered the locker room leading 2-0 and it appeared as if the Hens were going to cruise to their second straight victory, but Penn was not ready to lay down yet.
“We had some things we wanted to make adjustments on and we met in the locker room and wanted to make sure we kept our focus,” senior outside hitter Alissa Alker said. “They made some adjustments and we didn’t make ours.”
Penn rallied back to win the final three sets by scores of 25-21, 26-24 and 15-13. Delaware fell to 3-10 on the season while Penn improved to 5-5.
“I thought we had good poise in the first two games and executed,” head coach Bonnie Kenny said. “We just kind of let it get away that was a tough loss."
Senior Middle hitter Chelsea Lawrence led the Hens with a .347 kill percentage on 18 kills. She also added four blocks, four digs and one ace. Alker led the Hens with 20 kills and had a kill percentage of .226. Alker also had 36 digs, one ace and two blocks. Alker and Lawrence each scored a team-high 22 points for the Hens on Wednesday.
Freshman setter Mackenzie Olsen had a team-high 67 assists and added 24 digs. Freshman libero Ariel Shonk led Delaware with 40 digs and added three assists and one ace.
The Hens went on several runs, but they were quickly answered by Penn, who figured out Delaware’s offense and was able to take advantage of their aggressiveness. Delaware rallied several times during the fourth set, erasing a four-point deficit to tie the set at 21. Penn and the Hens traded points back and forth before Penn took the set 26-24.
The Hens were able to get a 12-9 lead over Penn in the fifth set but then dropped the next three points, allowing Penn to tie the set at 12. After going up 13-12, Delaware lost the final three points and the fifth set.
Alker, Lawrence and Kenny emphasized the need to find someone to score points for the Hens.
“We have to get our offense in sync,” Kenny said. “We have to be in the position where we have some attackers who can terminate.”
Senior middle blocker Amanda Pacheco and freshman right side hitter Alex Caldwell, who each had 15 kills, led Penn. Pacheco had a team-high kill percentage of .412 and Caldwell added 25 assists and 16 digs.
Delaware lost their first CAA game Friday night at Towson. The Tigers won the first three sets, all by close margins. The Hens fell to 3-11 on the season while Towson improved to 13-3.
Despite the Hens’ slow start to the season, the two-time defending CAA champions have not changed their goals for the season.
“Our expectation is always to win our conference championship so we can get in the postseason,” Kenny said. “That is not going to change even with where our team is now.”
Delaware resumes action today at 7 p.m. when they play Morgan State at the Bob Carpenter Sports Center.
Kenny said she believes the team can reach their goal if they continue to work.
“This is a team, if we can stay on task and we can keep getting better, I do believe this is a team that can improve a lot,” Kenny said.