COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College volleyball team saw visiting Neumann rally late to steal a tight first set before pulling away for a 3-0 non-conference sweep on Tuesday night inside Helfferich Hall.
The Knights (1-3) arrived at the original match time of 7:00 p.m. due to bus troubles, and their late arrival extended well into the first set as Ursinus ran out to a quick 10-3 lead thanks to a series of errors. The Bears – coming off a pair of wins on Saturday – still held a healthy advantage at 17-10 before Neumann made its run.
The Knights pulled even at 19-all after a streak of four consecutive points and went ahead for good at 21-20 on a kill by Ariana Pena. Ursinus took the next point, but the visitors managed to stave them off for a 25-22 first-set decision.
Ursinus (2-1) started fast in the second set as well, claiming a pair of three-point leads at 5-2 and 6-3, the first on an ace by Gabby McGinn. After trailing 12-10, Megan Aube capped a three-point service run with consecutive aces that flipped the spread to 14-12 in favor of the Bears.
Neumann, however, rattled off six in a row on the strength of four kills and never looked back, eventually taking a commanding 2-0 lead with a 25-19 result.
The Knights gained separation in the middle of the third set en route to a 25-17 final.
Led by Pena (11 kills on 15 attempts) and Bre Hickey (11 kills, 11 digs), Neumann hit .230 for the match, including a .360 mark in the third set.
Katie Cressman topped the Bears with six kills and added two blocks, with Haley Spotts and McGinn chipping in four kills apiece. Rachel Bernard paced the squad in assists (9) and digs (6), matching Aube's tally in the latter, and served three aces.
With three home matches in the books, Ursinus heads to Gwynedd Mercy on Thursday to begin a streak of five consecutive road/neutral tilts. The Bears return to Helfferich Hall on September 25 for their Centennial Conference opener with Franklin & Marshall on Family Day.