WVU volleyball falls in five at Delaware

Gold and Blue Nation

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team dropped a 3-2 match at Delaware on Monday evening, at the Bob Carpenter Center, in Newark, Delaware. The Mountaineers (9-11, 8-8 Big 12) fell to the Blue Hens (4-6, 2-3 CAA) in set scores of 18-25, 25-17, 24-26, 27-25 and 16-14.

Despite the loss, a trio of Mountaineers recorded a double-double on the evening.

Senior Briana Lynch, a middle blocker from Johns Creek, Georgia, registered 17 kills on 31 attacks, with just two errors, for a team-high .484 hitting efficiency. She also posted nine block assists and one solo stop for a career-high 10 total blocks. Of note, Lynch became the first Mountaineer to record 10 or more blocks and kills in a match since Katie DeMeo did so on Sept. 14, 2018.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Lux tied Lynch for the team lead in kills with 17, just short of her career-high mark. The North Bend, Nebraska, native also notched 14 digs on the evening to match her personal best last set on Sept. 21, 2019. 

Additionally, senior Athena Ardila, an outside hitter from Weston, Massachusetts, recorded her first double-double as a Mountaineer, as she totaled 10 kills and dug a career-high 10 balls in the match.

Senior defensive specialist Alexa Hasting led WVU’s floor defense with a career-high 36 digs. The Plain City, Ohio, native became the first Mountaineer to dig 35 or more balls since Serinna Russo posted 36 against Yale on Sept. 18, 2010. Freshman outside hitter/defensive specialist Skye Stokes also matched her career high in digs for the third time this season with 15.

Additionally, junior setter Lacey Zerwas dished out 50 of WVU’s 58 assists, and Lux served up a team-high three service aces in the match.

West Virginia finished the contest with 60 kills, 91 digs and 14 total blocks.

After a back-and-forth first set, WVU used consecutive kills from Lynch for a 21-14 lead and never looked back. The Blue Hens called a timeout to regroup, scoring two straight points out of the stoppage to come within five, but the Mountaineers captured four of the last six points for the 25-18 first-set victory and 1-0 match lead. 

The second frame started similar to the first, with the two squads playing to a 13-13 tie midway through the set. However, Delaware used a pair of scoring runs for the 23-16 advantage. A kill from Lux stopped the run, but West Virginia couldn’t recover, as back-to-back Blue Hen kills ended the set in their favor at 25-17.

With the overall match tied at one set apiece, the Mountaineers stormed back in the third to take a 2-1 lead in the match. UD reached set point off a WVU attacking error, but Lynch and Lux each put down a kill to knot the frame at 24-all. Delaware called a timeout, but West Virginia capitalized on a pair of Blue Hen miscues out of the stoppage for the 26-24 third-set victory.

The teams traded points in the fourth before WVU took a three-point lead at 19-16. UD called a timeout to regroup, eventually serving up an ace to tie the set at 20-20. A Blue Hen error brought the Mountaineers to set point at 24-22, but Delaware continued to put up a fight, scoring five of the last six points for the 27-25 victory and tying the overall match at two sets apiece.

The fifth set opened with four straight points from Delaware before West Virginia called a timeout. The Mountaineers regained the lead at 8-7 following a Blue Hen attacking error, as the two squads continued to exchange points down the stretch. A trio of kills from Lux brought WVU to match point at 14-11, but UD used a 5-0 scoring run to end the final set in its favor at 16-14 for the match victory.

With the loss, WVU is now 4-5 all-time against UD.

Looking ahead, the Mountaineers travel to Old Dominion (7-10, 4-8 C-USA) for a match on Tuesday, March 30. Competition is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET inside ODU Volleyball Center.

Direct links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the volleyball schedule page at WVUsports.com.

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUVolleyball on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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