PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences volleyball team took Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) leader Holy Family to the brink in sets two and three, only to fall just short in both in its home-opener Tuesday night at Bobby Morgan Arena.
After a dominant first set by Holy Family, the Devils responded well with two early four-points runs in the second. The first included a Bianca Galis kill and a Sarah Miller ace to make the score 4-2, before Miller added another kill in four unanswered later on to take a 12-10 lead.
USciences also led 13-11 after a McKayla Kelly kill only to have the Tigers rattle off six of the next seven points, and the Devils could never come back to tie it despite a Miller kill making the score 18-17.
University of the Sciences fought all the way back from an early 4-0 deficit in set three to go ahead 9-7 with a 5-0 run that began with a Brooke Witmer kill. Trailing 13-15, the Devils then used four unanswered to go ahead 17-15 on yet another Witmer kill.
Despite Holy Family coming back to tie it twice at 17 and 18, back-to-back kills by Dakota Raymond and Witmer put the Devils on top 20-18, before the Tigers closed the match with seven of the last nine points.
University of the Sciences outhit Holy Family .200-.163 in the final set and also out-dug the Tigers 61-56 for the match. The two teams both had four blocks.
Rhiannon Comia had a match-high 25 of those digs, a new season-best, and Witmer took part in a match-high three of those blocks, while also leading USciences with six kills on .333 hitting.
She was one of five Devils with at least four kills as Raymond and Galis each had five, with Raymond tying her season-high with 10 digs.
Kelly had four kills on .444 hitting, and Miller added four to go along with a team-best two service aces.
University of the Sciences stays local when it travels to face Chestnut Hill on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., before returning home to host Dominican on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 12 p.m.