GLASSBORO, N.J. – The Ursinus College volleyball team began its two-day stay at the Profs Invitational with a pair of losses to Misericordia and host Rowan on Friday night.
Ursinus (1-4) was swept by the Cougars in the opener, but rebounded to take the first set against the Profs in the nightcap before the hosts reeled off the next three.
Misericordia 3, Ursinus 0 (25-22, 25-17, 26-14)
The Bears had trouble getting going offensively in their first match of the afternoon, hitting just .065. Rachel Girard was a major bright spot, producing nine kills against just two errors to go with nine digs and six assists.
Miranda Foster had two kills during a 10-4 run to kick off the match, but the Cougars nosed ahead, 14-13, after a five-point spurt of their own. A service ace from Kelly Piotrowicz made it 20-18 in favor of Ursinus before Misericordia ran off another 5-0 burst to take control.
The Bears jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in the third set, courtesy of a pair of kills from Girard and another ace by Piotrowicz. Misericordia continued to chip away as the set wore on, but Ursinus was still on the verge of pushing the match to an extra set with a 23-19 edge. The Cougars pulled even at 23-23 before a service error handed the Bears a set point, but a kill and back-to-back attack errors short-circuited Ursinus' hopes of a comeback.
Rowan 3, Ursinus 1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-16)
Trailing 20-18 in the opening set, Ursinus came roaring back with an impressive closing stretch. Back-to-back service aces from Girard gave the Bears the lead, and Sullivan came up with two in a row herself to extend the margin to 24-21. The Profs (4-1) got one point back, but an attack error gave Ursinus the clinching point.
The Bears pushed Rowan hard in the second as well, erasing a 14-8 deficit to get back on level terms at 20-apiece before the home side reeled off five in a row to knot the match.
Rowan moved out to sizeable early leads in each of the next two frames to end the proceedings in four.
Girard finished just shy of a triple-double with 19 digs, a team-high nine kills, and eight assists, and Piotrowicz added 15 digs and eight kills.
Sullivan picked up a season-high 24 digs and Walborn led the way with 14 assists.
Ursinus hit just .006 for the match (32K-31E-160TA).
The Bears conclude the tournament with matches against Penn State Berks and Widener on Saturday.