ASTON, Pa. – The Ursinus College volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the Neumann Knights Invitational on Friday night, the first of half of a busy stretch of four matches in less than 24 hours.
The Bears fell to 3-6 with the dual losses.
Neumann 3, Ursinus 1 (25-18, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17)
After dropping the first two sets, the Bears appeared to be in danger of a sweep when the Knights accrued a 9-6 lead in the third. But a five-point spurt, which featured two kills from senior Allison Raff and a pair of aces by sophomore Kelly Piotrowicz, put Ursinus ahead to stay.
The margin fluctuated between two and six points before Neumann made its move, closing to within 23-21 after a string of four straight. Back-to-back kills by sophomore Miranda Foster and senior Taylor McCartney shut down the Knights' advances and forced a fourth set.
Leading just 9-8 after a Piotrowicz kill, Neumann gradually pulled away midway through the fourth and closed the match on an 8-3 run.
Raff finished with a team-high nine kills and added 16 digs for Ursinus. Junior Sydney Gonzalez chased down 20 digs, while freshman Paige DeAlba recorded 17 assists and four kills. DeAlba combined with Piotrowicz (five kills, eight assists, four digs) and Foster (five kills, two blocks) to produce 14 kills against only four errors.
Melanie Malseed tallied 12 kills and 12 digs for Neumann (2-7), while Carlie Herrin racked up 34 assists and 12 digs.
The Bears struggled to find a rhythm on the attack, posting a hitting percentage mark of just .022. Neumann hit .200 for the match and committed only 17 attack errors over the four-set contest.
Moravian 3, Ursinus 0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-18)
The Bears were competitive in each set, but the Greyhounds had enough firepower to come away with a sweep.
Raff collected seven kills and seven digs and Foster supported her with six kills for Ursinus in its second match of the night.
DeAlba picked up 20 assists and complemented them with eight digs, just missing a double-double and leading the team in both categories. McCartney (four kills) and freshman Hannah Merges (three) also got involved on offense.
The Bears host Rowan and Trinity (D.C.) in a Saturday doubleheader that gets underway at 10:30 a.m.