Volleyball Outlasts Albright in Five-Set Thriller

Volleyball Outlasts Albright in Five-Set Thriller

This story will be updated when statistics from the first match become available.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ursinus College volleyball team capped the first day of its visit to the nation's capital in scintillating fashion, outlasting Albright in five sets to bounce back from a sweep at the hands of Salisbury at the Catholic University Tournament.

Senior co-captains Allison Raff and Taylor McCartney joined forces with freshman setter Paige DeAlba in the nightcap, steering the Bears (2-2) to their second victory over the Lions in a week.

Ursinus 3, Albright 2 (18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 15-7)

The rematch with Albright pushed the Bears to the limit. After dropping a razor-thin fourth set, however, Ursinus had the goods in its first five-set marathon of the season.

McCartney did much of the heavy lifting in crunch time, opening the decisive frame with a pair of kills. The Lions got on the board at 2-1, but three attack errors and an ace by junior Sydney Gonzalez pushed Ursinus out to a 6-1 advantage.

Albright got as close as 10-7, forcing a Bears timeout. But Ursinus rolled off five straight points – two of them on kills by Raff – to close out a 15-7 decision.

Raff finished with 21 kills and 20 digs for her fourth career 20-20 performance, also adding a pair of service aces, while McCartney picked up a career-best 20 kills to go with six digs. Freshman Jayme Callum registered seven kills.

DeAlba was the catalyst for the offense, dishing out a season-high 47 assists, the most by a Bear since Gina Powers recorded 50 against Catholic in 2014. The rookie complemented her distribution efforts with eight digs and five aces.

Gonzalez collected 16 digs and four aces for Ursinus, which served up 15 aces for the match.

Until the Lions pulled out a tight fourth set, the teams' second meeting in a week played out eerily similarly to the season opener. After dropping the first set, Ursinus trailed 21-20 in the second and was tied at 22-all before an Albright service error opened the door. Gonzalez' ace gave the Bears set point, and McCartney made it count with a kill to close the set.

Ursinus led 5-1 and never looked back in the third set, but found itself in a 10-3 hole in the fourth. Trailing 14-8, the Red and Old Gold reeled off nine straight points, punctuated by back-to-back kills from Raff, to go ahead 17-14. The Bears held a 19-16 advantage until the Lions came roaring back to claim a 25-23 nail-biter, setting up the fifth and final frame.

Ursinus cranked up its defense in the pivotal set, forcing Albright into seven errors and a -.190 hitting percentage.

Up Next

The Bears take on host Catholic at noon before going up against Wesley following the conclusion of the first match.