NEWARK, Del. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) volleyball team grabbed a pair of wins over Southern Connecticut State and Franklin Pierce at the 2018 Wildcat Regional Invitational, hosted by Wilmington University, on Friday. The Rams are now set to play Franklin Pierce at 7 p.m. from the WU Athletics Complex in Newark, Del.
JEFFERSON DEF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE, 25-21, 31-29, 26-24
-Senior Courtney Wensel led the Rams with a double-double behind a team-best 11 kills and 11 digs.
-Sophomores Cassandra Hickman and Abigail Kress each notched 10 kills. Hickman owned a team-high .292 hitting percentage while Kress hit .222.
-Senior Alexandra Harrington finished with a team-high 12 digs and 33 assists.
-Junior Amber Johnson recorded two of the Rams' five solo blocks.
First set: Southern Connecticut State had an early 10-7 advantage before the Rams tied it up at 17-all. Jefferson gained an 19-18 lead and never lost it as they won, 25-21.
Second set: Jefferson led 9-3 early before Southern Connecticut State won 10 of 12 points to go up 13-11. The Owls stayed ahead and had a set point at 25-24 and 29-28 but the Rams thwarted it both times. Jefferson tied it up 29-29 before taking the set, 31-29.
Third Set: The two teams battled it out early and stayed close as the Owls led 15-14. Jefferson won the next four points to go up 18-15 before stretching their edge to five at 21-16 and 22-17. Up 24-22 with match point looming, Southern Connecticut State tied it up 24-24 before the Rams took the last two for the set and match.
JEFFERSON DEF. FRANKLIN PIERCE, 25-11, 25-13, 24-26, 25-13
-Sophomore Logan Dontell led Jefferson with 11 kills and a .625 hitting percentage while Johnson (10 kills, .444) and junior Mariah Cadzow (10 kills, .500) followed suit.
-Junior Alexis Leddy led the Rams with 18 digs.
-Harrington recorded 53 assists with nine digs.
First/second set: The Rams dominated the first two sets to go up 2-0. In the first, Jefferson took its lead from 6-4 to 19-6, winning 13 of 15 points to cruise to the 25-11 win. Similarly in the second, the Rams jumped out to a quick 10-2 edge to get a comfortable lead. Franklin Pierce was only able to earn consecutive points three times in the first two sets. Jefferson hit .286 in the first and .444 in the second behind 12 and 18 kills.
Third set: Franklin Pierce came out as a different team in the third. After hitting, -0.188 and .094 in the opening two, the Ravens hit .275 as a team in the third while Jefferson hit .233. The Rams were up 23-19 late but Franklin Pierce was able to grab seven of the last eight points to steal the set and force a fourth, 26-24.
Fourth set: Jefferson's fourth set looked like the first and second as the squad hit a combined .371 with 16 kills and just three errors before winning, 25-13.
Jefferson continues action at Wilmington University's 2018 Wildcat Regional Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 8. The Rams play American International and Merrimack.