GLASSBORO, N.J. – The Ursinus College volleyball team split its matches on the second day of the Rowan Invitational. The Bears fell 3-1 in Saturday's opener to Penn State Berks before defeating Widener, 3-0, to conclude the weekend.
Penn State Berks 3, Ursinus 1 (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16)
Back-to-back close sets in which Penn State Berks pulled away in the final stretch put the Bears down 2-0 in the early goings. The Bears fell behind, 16-12, in the opening set before pulling back within one at 16-15. Trailing 21-19, the Nittany Lions won 4 of the final five points to take the opener.
The Bears rallied back from a 9-3 deficit in the second but again trailed 21-19 late. Once again, Penn State Berks won the four of the final five points as the Bears went down, 2-0.
A 7-0 run in the middle of the third set put the Bears up 19-13. Rachel Girard fired the final kill to take the third 25-23.
The Nittany Lions bounced back to take the fourth set 25-16 as the Bears fell 3-1 in their first match of the day. Girard had a team-high 12 kills and recorded a double-double, adding 10 digs. Kelly Piotrowicz had a double-double as well as she had 17 assists to go with a team-high 19 digs.
Ursinus 3, Widener 0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-21)
The Bears looked to bounce back in their second match of the day. The first set displayed tight competition with both teams hoping to grasp the early lead. Neither team led by more than three points as the opener featured 16 ties. Trailing 21-19, the Bears took four straight points that were led by two kills by Piotrowicz. Leading 25-24, Isabelle Deal fired the final kill to secure the first set.
The second set was close as well, but after taking the first point, the Bears never lost the lead. Once again, it was Deal who sparked a late run as the freshman hit three consecutive kills to give the Bears a 2-0 advantage.
The Bears trailed 11-8 in the third set, but an 8-3 run that featured two more kills by Deal put Ursinus up 16-14 and the team never looked back. Back-to-back errors from Widener secured the sweep to finish the day with a win.
Deal led the team with 15 kills and Piotrowicz followed suit, entering double-digit kills as well with 10. Piotrowicz added 15 digs for a double-double. Luca Walborn led the team with 27 assists.
The Bears play at Neumann on Tuesday.