ASTON, Pa. – The Ursinus College volleyball team wound up on the short end of two razor-thin sets to start Tuesday's match at Neumann, and despite a valiant comeback effort the Bears could not bridge the gap in a 3-1 defeat.
Junior Kelly Piotrowicz continued her terrific run of form for Ursinus (5-5), registering her second consecutive triple-double and third in four matches. The setter finished with 15 assists, 13 digs, and 10 kills.
The Bears were shot out of a cannon to open the match, winning seven of the first eight points and generally controlling play on the way to a 20-17 lead late in the first set. But the Knights (6-4) rebounded, claiming the next four points to grab the lead and eking out a 25-23 decision on Rachel Hoffman's kill.
The second set was similarly nip-and-tuck, featuring 11 ties and nine lead changes. Neither side led by more than three after Neumann held an early 9-5 edge. The Bears went ahead 22-21 on a Knights error, but the home side took three straight points before Piotrowicz staved off a set point with a kill. Neumann cashed in on the second one, however, to take a 2-0 lead.
Undaunted, the Bears erased a 14-13 deficit with eight consecutive points on a long service run by senior Sydney Gonzalez. Sophomore Emily Harris started the run with a kill and Gonzalez gave Ursinus the upper hand for good with an ace before the Knights committed a series of setting errors. Junior Miranda Foster's kill ultimately clinched a 25-20 result.
Neumann started the fourth set on a 4-0 run and cruised the rest of the way.
Harris had nine kills for the Bears, with Foster adding six. Sophomore Grace Sullivan chased down a team-high 19 digs, while classmate Paige DeAlba chipped in 12 assists, six digs, and five kills. Gonzalez finished with 10 digs, her third straight match with at least double digits in that category.
Neumann hit .195 for the match and had 12 blocks, while Ursinus hit .083.
The volleyball team opens Centennial Conference play on Friday night at McDaniel before taking on Johns Hopkins in its home opener the following day.