NORTH MANCHESTER, Indiana – The Wilmington College volleyball team opened the 2018 Manchester University Invitational with a pair of losses on Friday evening, falling to Governor's State University (Illinois) 3-2 (25-27, 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 15-4) and Saint Mary's College (Indiana) 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-21).
The Fightin' Quakers will have a chance to rebound with two matches tomorrow (Saturday) against host Manchester University at 11 a.m. and Indiana University Northwest at 1 p.m.
In the loss to Governor's State, Wilmington won four of the first six points thanks to two kills from Karrah Wind, but a 7-2 run from the Jaguars forced a timeout from Head Coach Tim O'Brien. Governor's State would hold the five-point advantage and lead 19-13 before Wilmington mounted its comeback. Four Jaguar attack errors got the Quakers within two points (20-18), but kills from Dunja Tatic and a couple of errors from Wilmington gave Governor's State multiple set points at 24-21. The Quakers made the last push, however, as consecutive service aces from Jillian Wesco spurned a 6-1 run capped by a Karley Schlensker service ace to give Wilmington the set.
In set two, the two teams were tied 18-18, but it was Governor's State which made the push this time, ending the set on a 7-1 run to level the match.
Set three also proved to be one of runs at the end as Wilmington led 19-15, but surrendered six straight points including giving up three consecutive service aces to the Jaguars. After a timeout from Wilmington, the team's traded points giving Governor's State a 22-20 advantage. Kills from Grace Ewing, Morgan Loomis and Wesco along with a Jaguar attack error give the Quakers two set points and a 24-22 lead. A Tatic kill fought off one set point, but a service error gave Wilmington a set three 25-23 victory.
Down 2-1, Governor's State hit a .600 clip in set four while putting down 10 kills compared to just one error on 15 attack attempts. Wilmington hit a negative attack percentage for the only time in the match in set four.
The two teams were tied 4-4 in set five, but the Jaguars won the final 11 points to win the match in come-from-behind fashion.
The Jaguar duo of Tatic and Ivana Novakovic combined for 37 of Governor's State's 51 kills as a team. Milica Maras dished out 46 assists while Tatic had 22 digs.
Governor's State finished with a 51-43 kills advantage, but Wilmington had a 7-3 edge in blocks. Both teams struggled on serve receive as the Jaguars racked up 23 service aces compared to 14 for Wilmington.
In the loss to Saint Mary's, the Belles led the first two sets nearly from start to finish as the Quakers failed to get to 20 points in either of the first two sets. Trailing 2-0, Wilmington battled Saint Mary's to a 20-20 tie, only to see the Belles end the match on a 5-1 run fueled by two service aces.
Lindsay Pelletier led all players offensively with 11 kills while Morgan VanderWey tallied seven kills with no errors on 11 attempts for a .636 attack percentage. She also had 33 assists while Nicole Lukens had 17 digs to lead the Belles' back row.
For Wilmington, Amber Rox turned in one of her best performances of the season to date, finishing the match with seven kills and no errors on 14 attack attempts for a .500 attack percentage. Ewing and Alyssa McKenzie split the setting duties and combined for 21 assists while Wesco led the back row with eight digs.
The Quakers begin competition tomorrow with the Manchester match beginning at 11 a.m.