PHILADELPHIA – After seeing Jefferson storm back to erase a two-set deficit, the University of the Sciences volleyball team composed itself to score the first eight points of the fifth set.
The Rams would end the match on 15-3 run though, handing the Devils their second straight five-set defeat (25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 22-25, 15-11 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) play on Thursday evening.
USciences was seeking to beat Jefferson for the first time since 2014. Prior to tonight, the Devils had won just two sets in their previous nine meetings with the Rams.
Freshman Tori Wright turned in the performance of her young career, leading all players with a season-high 24 kills on .242 hitting, while adding a season-best 15 digs and a team-high four service aces for her third double-double in four matches and her seventh this season.
She scored the first four points of the fifth set on three consecutive kills and an ace, before adding one more after a Jade Bryant kill to make it 6-0.
A Natalia Velez ace and Jefferson error then completed the set-opening surge.
Bryant also set a new season-best, for the fifth match in a row, with 16 kills on .208 hitting, while Velez was also in double-figures with 12 kills.
Angeli Roman Medina paced University of the Sciences with 36 assists, as the Devils actually had 10 more kills than Jefferson, 57-47.
USciences also set a new season-high with 77 digs, with Lauren Lim (21) and Velez (19) both setting new season-bests.
University of the Sciences trailed by as many as four twice in the opening set, including at 5-9, before slowly making its way back into it beginning with three straight points, two of which were scored by Bryant.
That sparked a 14-4 run that ended with the Devils on top 19-13 after Bryant registered a kill for the third time in four points.
USciences then scored six of the first eight points in the second, two of which came on Bryant killes, en route to leading by at least four throughout the set.
University of the Sciences got off to a good start in the third as it looked for the sweep, taking an 8-5 advantage before the Rams responded with 11 unanswered.
Jefferson (8-4 CACC) then broke an 11-11 deadlock in the fourth set with nine in a row to set up a decisive fifth, despite the Devils getting as close as one, 22-23, before the Rams scored the final two points.
USciences is back on the road this Saturday, traveling north to face Post at 2 p.m.