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Witmer Ties School Record with Seven Blocks in Three-Set Match in Tightly Contested Loss at Nyack

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

PHILADLEPHIA – University of the Sciences volleyball senior Brooke Witmer moved into a tie for 10th in program history with a record-setting performance on Saturday afternoon, tying Cady Rich's eight-year-old program record with a career-high seven blocks in a three-set match (25-point format) in the Devils' tightly contested loss (25-16, 26-24, 25-23) at Nyack. 

She had five block assists, one shy of tying another program record, and two block solos, as USciences finished with 18 block assists and 11 total blocks as a team for its most in a three-set match since at least the 2011 season.  

Witmer tied her teammate from last year, Simran Sangu, with 193 career blocks to crack the program's top-10. 

University of the Sciences' blocking attack nearly led it to second and third set wins, if not for Nyack closing out those sets with respective 14-5 and 14-2 runs. 

After a comfortable 25-16 score-line in the first set, USciences took control of the second with five successive points to make the score 12-8 after back-to-back blocks by McKayla Kelly and Bianca Galis

Later on a stretch of three straight points, on back-to-back kills by Witmer and Elizabeth Checca and a Nayck error, capped a 14-5 Devils run, before the Warriors made the run of their own. 

Trailing 22-24, University of the Sciences fought off two set points, which included a Galis kill, to tie the score at 24, only to have Nyack convert a third set point for the 2-0 advantage. 

The Devils shook this off however, rattling off nine consecutive points on Danielle Taylor's serve after the Warriors had opened the third with the first two points. Taylor had all three of her career-high service aces, and Witmer combined with both Checca and Caelin Jaskot for blocks, in the stretch.  

UScineces led by as many as eight in the set, 11-3 after a solo Witmer block and 21-13 after back-to-back Galis kills, but Nayck had a run of its own with eight straight points.

Despite the Devils regaining the lead, 22-21, on a Galis and Wimter block, and tying the score, at 23 on a Checca kill, they could not stop the Warriors from coming all the way back to complete the sweep. 

Witmer was not the only Devil with a career-best in blocks on the day as Galis added four, to go along with a team-high 10 kills on .500 hitting for a new season-best for a three-set match. 

Kelly also added four blocks. 

Rhiannon Comia rounded out the defensive performance with 14 digs, while Caelin Jaskot led University of the Sciences with 22 assists. 

The Devils close out a three-match road-trip with a 6:30 p.m. match at Holy Family on Tuesday, Oct. 9.