NEWARK, Del. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) volleyball team (26-6, S#1 seed) fell to the Caldwell Cougars (24-7, N#1) from the Wilmington University Athletics Complex in Newark, Del. on Sunday afternoon by a final of 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 in the 2017 CACC Championship match.
Justus hit .522 in the match with 13 kills and two blocks.
Wensel notched her 19th double-double of the season with a team-high 14 kills and 18 digs along with three aces.
Sophomore Mariah Cadzow recorded 11 kills, 13 digs and three aces in the loss.
Freshman Caitlin Crespo had a team-high 20 digs.
Junior Alexandra Harrington had 44 assists in the Sunday championship.
FIRST SET (Jefferson 25-18)
The Rams went out to an early 8-3 lead in the first. Caldwell then scored the next six to give the Cougars a 9-8 advantage before a Jefferson timeout. Trailing 11-9, Jefferson went on a five-point run to take a 14-11 lead. The squad then took their largest lead of the set at 22-16, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout as the first set neared a close. Caldwell fought off two sets points before the Rams took the first, 25-18. Wensel had two service aces in the first while Cadzow led the team with four kills.
SECOND SET (Caldwell 25-22)
The second found itself tied up at 5-5 and 7-7 in the beginning. Caldwell then took a 10-8 advantage as CACC Coach of the Year Tim Moyer took a timeout as Jefferson trailed by two points. The Rams scored seven of the next 11 to take a 15-14 lead, their first of the set since early on at 5-2. With a 16-15 edge for the Rams, Caldwell recorded the next five to retake the lead at 20-16 as Jefferson took their second timeout. Two kills by Wensel forced Caldwell to use a timeout. An ace by Harrington and a kill by freshman Abigail Kress tied it back up at 20-20. The Cougars recorded five of the next seven to take the set, 25-22, and even the match, 1-1. Wensel notched six kills in the second with a .308 hitting percentage. The set was tied up nine times with three lead changes.
THIRD SET (Caldwell 25-23)
Jefferson found themselves trailing by six early on, 9-3. Still trailing at 12-9, Jefferson went on a four-point run to take a 13-12 lead, their first of the set. The teams then exchanged points with even scores at 13-13, 14-14, 15-15, 17-17, 18-18 and 19-19. Falling behind 21-19, the Rams recorded the next three to take a 22-21 lead before Caldwell tied it up and then took a 23-22 advantage. While a kill by Kress evened it back up, the Cougars got a set point at 24-23 after a Jefferson service error. A kill by CACC Player of the Year Katrina Janssen gave Caldwell the third, 25-23, and a 2-1 match edge. Justus, Kress and Wensel each had four kills in the third while Justus hit .800 in the set.
FOURTH SET (Caldwell 25-19)
Trailing in a match after three sets for the first time since October 14th, the Rams found themselves in an early 11-4 hole in the fourth. Going on a 7-3 run, Jefferson got back within three at 14-11, capped with an ace by Harrington. Caldwell recorded seven of the next 10 to go up 21-14 before a Jefferson timeout with the Rams trailing by seven in the crucial set. The Rams then went on a four-point run to get within four at 22-18. The run was stopped with a kill by Janssen of the Cougars as Caldwell eventually took the fourth, 25-19, and the match, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19.