WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit Wednesday to defeat Anderson University 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 15-13 in a non-conference match at Fred Raizk Arena.
“It was a whole team win,” WC head coach Sophie Windover said. “We had some players come in and fill some rolls at critical points in the match. Everyone rose to the occasion. Our pins were on and the atmosphere was electric. Our bench was winning just as much as the players on the court were.”
After losing the first set, WC took a 21-18 lead on a block by Sarah Brown and Bailey Pohlman. Anderson finished strong, though, and took a 2-0 match lead.
Wilmington’s resiliency showed, however, as the team hit a blistering .340 clip in set three, and used a Blake O’Brien service run to break an 18-18 deadlock in set four to send the match to a fifth set.
In set five, Anderson led 4-2, but the Quakers were able to have a critical roll filled as after a Sydney Geibel kill gave the hosts the serve, Windover subbed in Carissa Oeder, who hadn’t played a point in the previous four sets, to serve. The freshman from Morrow began with an ace to tie the set 4-4, but served six more times before a service error ended the run with WC ahead 9-5.
Anderson battled back to tie the set 13-13, but unlike set two, this one went the way of Wilmington as a Sofia Thomas kill followed by a Raven attack error completed the come-from-behind victory.
Offensively, Wilmington setter Andie Dolven dished out a career high 55 assists and was masterful in spreading the ball around. Thomas, Geibel and Brown all had at least a dozen kills while Lili Green, Joy Bebe, Bailey Pohlman and Dolven herself all had at least a half-dozen kills.
“Andie [Dolven] is an incredibly smart player and gets our offense flowing,” said Windover. “That’s exactly what you need a setter to do. I’d also like to acknowledge our hitters doing a great job of tooling off the block and finding holes in the defense.”
Defensively, O’Brien dug up a career-best 47 balls while Geibel, Thomas and Macee Hamilton also had double-digit dig performances. Thomas, Bebe and Pohlman combined for 14 block assists.
“Our blockers are learning quickly how to read across the net,” Windover said. “We have a couple rough matches early in the month, but this team is hitting its stride as we turn the calendar to October.”
Wilmington (7-11) will open Ohio Athletic Conference play at John Carroll University 1 p.m. Saturday.