GLASSBORO, N.J. – A triple-double by junior Kelly Piotrowicz highlighted the first day of action at Rowan's Profs Invitational as the Bears split a pair of sweeps to open the tournament.
Widener 3, Ursinus 0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-17)
The Bears trailed 12-10 before an inspired streak of six consecutive points put them in the driver's seat. Junior Miranda Foster had a kill in the run and freshman Olivia DeBonte capped it with two of her own before the Pride stopped the bleeding.
Senior Sydney Gonzalez handed Ursinus a 17-13 lead with her own kill, but Widener scored the next five points to take back the upper hand and set of a seesaw finish. The set was tied for the last time at 20 before back-to-back attack errors doomed the Bears.
Ursinus was in a 7-1 hole in the second set but gradually chipped away, moving to within two points at 18-16 after a kill by sophomore Paige DeAlba and an ace off the serve of classmate Hannah Merges. The Pride, however, pulled away from there to secure a 25-18 decision.
The Bears ran off to a 6-2 start and led 8-4 in the third, but Widener used a 9-1 run to take command and kept Ursinus at arm's length to secure the sweep.
Sophomore Emily Harris led the way with eight kills. Junior Kelly Piotrowicz had 10 assists and six kills and matched Foster with three block assists, while DeAlba posted 11 assists and seven digs. Sophomore Grace Sullivan hustled to a dozen digs.
Ursinus 3, Curry 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16)
The nightcap was much kinder to the Bears, who swept Curry by a score nearly identical to their afternoon result.
Piotrowicz was the star of the match, tallying her first triple-double of the campaign with 13 assists, 12 kills, and 12 digs.
Ursinus served a season-high 15 aces, led by six from DeBonte and four more courtesy of Gonzalez, who now sits just one shy of 100 for her career.
DeAlba (seven kills, eight assists, five digs) and DeBonte (three kills) each accounted for 9.5 points, and Harris matched the former with seven kills on the night.
The Bears were down 8-2 and 14-8 in the opening set, but a quick surge spurred by kills from DeAlba and Piotrowicz trimmed the margin to 15-14. DeBonte's ace and Harris' kill staked Ursinus to its first lead at 19-18, and Piotrowicz bookended an attack error with a pair of kills to open a 22-19 edge as the Bears nosed ahead for good.
After a straightforward second-set victory, the Bears were deadlocked at 15 in the final set before a 9-0 run – which included three consecutive aces by DeBonte – secured a match point. Harris sealed the deal with a kill on a feed from Piotrowicz.
The Bears conclude the tournament with matches against Penn State Abington (1 PM) and host Rowan (3 PM) on Saturday.