WC wins opener but falls to Earlham in 4

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College volleyball team won a tight set one, but Earlham College rattled off the next three sets to claim the Quaker Bowl rivalry match 3-1 (27-29, 25-14, 25-16, 25-22) at Fred Raizk Arena Tuesday evening.

Earlham opened the first set by winning 6-of-8 points, but a service run from Mariella Szrom tied the set, 12-12. Neither team would lead by more than two points until an Adriana Middleton service ace put the Fightin’ Quakers up 20-17 and forced a timeout from the Hustlin’ Quakers.

Earlham would eventually tie the set 23-23 only to face a set point as Wilmington had a chance to go up 1-0. A service error from the hosts and a kill from the visitors gave Earlham its first set point at 25-24, but a block from Morgan Loomis and Meghan Koch kept the set going. Both teams failed to convert on their next set points, but a Jillian Wesco kill at 27-27 followed by a service ace from Karley Schlensker gave Wilmington the set 29-27.

Earlham finished with 45 kills and a .090 attack percentage while Wilmington had 33 kills and 31 errors for a .013 hitting percentage. The visitors also won the serve-pass game with nine aces compared to 14 reception errors for the hosts.

Individually, Wesco was the lone Quaker to tally double digits in kills with 10. The Wilmington trio of Taylor McCuistion, Koch and Loomis all finished with six kills. Setter Summer Wilbur had 27 assists while Schlensker (23), Wesco (22) and Wilbur (17) were the dig leaders.

Wilmington (1-6) travels to Ohio Wesleyan University for three matches this weekend.