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Volleyball Goes Unbeaten in Home Tri

Volleyball Goes Unbeaten in Home Tri

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College volleyball team got its season off to a roaring start with a pair of victories in a home tri-match on Saturday.

The Bears (2-0) cruised past Bryn Athyn and came from a set down to upend Penn State-Brandywine in the final match of the afternoon.

Katie Cressman was sensational for the hosts, posting eight kills without an error in the opener before racking up a career-high 15 kills against the Nittany Lions. Cressman was one of three Bears with double-digit kills in that match, joining Haley Spotts (11) and Caroline Sherman (10).

Ursinus 3, Bryn Athyn 0 (25-8, 25-10, 25-2)

The Bears had little trouble dispatching the shorthanded Lions, hitting .395 and notching an incredible 29 aces, including a dozen off the serve of Rachel Bernard, who enjoyed a run of 17 straight service points to close the third set.

After a tight start, back-to-back aces by Evangeline Nesslage set the Bears on the right path and ignited a 15-3 spurt. Gabby McGinn reeled off four aces, the last of which gave the home side an 18-6 lead. Luca Walborn served the last six points of the opening set, delivering an ace to close it.

Two kills from Spotts helped the Bears start the second set on a run of seven straight points, and the lead swelled to 18-4 before long. Walborn set up another Spotts kill for the set-clinching point.

Ursinus led 7-2 in the third before a kill by Spotts gave the ball to Bernard, who never gave it back. She had 10 aces in the match-ending spree, including six in the final seven points.

Ursinus 3, Penn State Brandywine 1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-9, 25-20)

The Bears fell victim to a slow start against the Nittany Lions, sinking into a 17-6 hole before nearly climbing all the way out. Ursinus twice got within a point, but both times Brandywine was able to stave them off to sneak away with the opening set.

The tables turned from there, as three kills from Spotts and an ace by McGinn staked Ursinus to an early 8-2 advantage in the second. Cressman caught fire late in the period, recording several kills down the stretch as the Bears pulled away.

The momentum carried into the pivotal third set, when Ursinus turned a 4-4 deadlock into a 15-6 margin. Cressman, Sherman, Bernard, and Spotts all had kills during the run, and a serving sequence by Kaitlyn McGinley resulted in consecutive kills for Spotts, Bernard (2), McGinn, and Spotts again to put the Bears comfortably ahead at 20-7. Bernard fittingly capped the set with another ace.

The fourth set was competitive, but the Bears managed to fend off the Nittany Lions' comeback attempts and secured victory on a kill by Olivia DeBonte.

Cressman tallied a double-double with 15 kills and 11 digs, while Sherman (10 kills) and Bernard (8) each went without an error; Bernard also chipped in 24 assists and 13 digs for a double-double. Spotts produced 11 kills and three blocks.

Walborn also snagged a double-double with 19 assists and a game-high 15 digs, while McGinley hustled her way to 14 digs.

The Bears put their early unbeaten record to the test when Neumann comes to Helfferich Hall for a Tuesday night showdown.