COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College volleyball team gave playoff contender McDaniel a serious scare in Friday's home finale, but the Green Terror played the big points well enough to lock down a 3-0 Centennial Conference sweep (25-20, 25-23, 25-18).
Senior Allison Raff collected six kills and added 11 digs in the last home match of her career, leaving her six short of 1,000 digs with Saturday's match at Bryn Mawr on tap. Fellow senior Taylor McCartney produced six kills in her last match in Helfferich Hall for the Bears (6-18, 0-9), which got seven kills from sophomore Miranda Foster and five apiece from sophomore Lydia Pierce and freshman Paige DeAlba.
Teryn Rath put up 11 kills for McDaniel (18-7, 6-4), which needs Swarthmore to beat Haverford tomorrow to make the playoffs.
The first two sets were nip and tuck, featuring a combined 16 ties and 10 lead changes between the two. The first frame had 11 and seven, respectively. Ursinus led 5-3 out of the gates, but the Green Terror scored the next two points for a stalemate and neither team led by more than a point until the visitors overturned a 16-15 deficit with five consecutive points. McDaniel's late burst gave it just enough separation for a 25-20 decision.
The Bears got off to another fast start in the second set, this time going up 5-2 after back-to-back kills by Raff. Again, the margin fluctuated between one and two points until the Green Terror used a 4-0 run to take an 18-15 advantage and force an Ursinus timeout. The home side came back with two points on a kill by Raff and a Green Terror miscue, but the Green and Yellow reeled off four in a row once more to go up 22-17.
Ursinus roared back with four straight kills, with sophomore Kelly Piotrowicz and McCartney sandwiching theirs around two from Foster. The Bears got within one twice more, but Emma Lorenzen's kill ended their comeback hopes.
McDaniel jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set and led by as many as ten points before closing the match with a 25-18 final.
Piotrowicz handed out a game-high 26 assists for Ursinus, also chipping in eight digs.
The service line made a big difference in this match – McDaniel weighed nine aces against nine errors, while the Bears committed five errors in each of the first two sets. Ursinus hit .190 for the match, just below the Green Terror's .236 mark.
The volleyball team closes the season on Saturday at Bryn Mawr. First serve is set for 11 a.m.