GLASSBORO, N.J. – An epic five-set showdown with Rowan capped the Ursinus College volleyball team's stay at the Profs Invitational on Saturday, the hard-fought setback leaving the Bears with a 2-2 mark for the tournament after a 3-0 sweep of Penn State Abington earlier in the day.
Ursinus 3, Penn State Abington 0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-21)
The Bears started the day on a high note with a routine sweep. Trailing 3-1 early, freshman Olivia DeBonte kick-started a 6-0 run for the Bears, who eventually led 19-6 and 23-8.
Sophomore Paige DeAlba had two kills in the first set for Ursinus, which took advantage of nine unforced errors by the Nittany Lions.
Ursinus hit a robust .276 in the second set and .270 in the third, keeping Abington at bay with a measured offensive performance.
Piotrowicz and DeBonte served three aces each, and senior Sydney Gonzalez finished with a team-best 15 digs.
Rowan 3, Ursinus 2 (19-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8)
In their first five-setter of the season – and only the second match that did not end in a sweep – the Bears came up just short despite taking a two-set lead.
The lead switched hands several times in the early part of the first set, until a 10-1 spurt separated Ursinus for a 20-11 advantage. Foster's kill kicked off the rally, and back-to-back aces by Piotrowicz kept it going.
After getting the best of a seesaw second set, Ursinus was on the brink of an impressive non-conference result. But the Profs claimed the third set to stay alive and erased a 22-21 deficit to sneak out the fourth set as well.
It all came down to the fifth frame, where Rowan took the first four points and rode the early momentum to a 15-8 final.
Piotrowicz was sensational for the Bears, racking up 21 assists, 17 digs, and 12 kills for her second triple-double of the season. Her dozen kills came with just two errors, and Piotrowicz added six aces for good measure.
DeAlba totaled 10 kills without an error, also logging 16 assists, seven digs, and three blocks to nearly join Piotrowicz with a triple-double. Foster (nine kills) and Harris (eight) combined for 17 kills and Gonzalez shattered her season high with 26 digs.
The Bears head to Neumann for a non-conference match on Tuesday.