NEWARK, Del. – The Columbia Volleyball team defeated University of Delaware 3-1 Friday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center in game one of the two-day Delaware Invitational before falling 3-0 to Xavier later that evening. The Lions defeated the Blue Hens 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 while dropping the third set, 25-17. The Musketeers defeated the Lions by scores of 25-21, 25-14, 25-19.
Delaware took an early advantage and held on to the lead throughout the majority of set one. The Blue Hens led by as many four, but the Lions put up a fight to eventually take over, 22-21. The set remained close for the next few points, building up to 22-22 and 23-23 ties. The Lions ended with a bang, scoring the next two points on a kill by Heather Braunagel and a double-block by Braunagel and Colleen Brennan to edge the Blue Hens in the first set, 25-23.
Set two started off neck-and-neck, resulting in five ties early on. With the score knotted at 9-9, a kill by Megan Gaughn set off a 7-1 run for the Lions to give Columbia a confident 16-10 lead. The Lions led by at least four and as much as eight throughout the remainder of the set to finish with a dominating 25-18 victory.
The third started similarly but ended in reverse. A back-and-forth beginning brought the score to a 9-9 tie, but this time it would be the Blue Hens who took over control and did not trail the rest of the way. Delaware would score five unanswered points to break the final tie and give the Hens the boost they needed to force a fourth set as the Lions dropped a 25-17 decision.
Columbia would take the first two points in set four en route to an early 4-1 lead. After a tied 5-5 game, Columbia scored two straight to take a 7-5 lead, but Delaware would keep it a close game at 8-7. From there, the Lions went on a 4-1 run to take over, 13-9.
But UD embarked on a 5-1 run to tie up the score once again at 14-14. The score was tied one final time at 15-15, but that would be the closest Delaware would get the rest of the match. The lead belonged to Columbia the rest of the way as the Lions defeated UD 25-22 to win the match.
Braunagel led the Lions with nine kills, a .471 hitting percentage and seven blocks, while Gaughn contributed 12 kills without committing an error for a .400 hitting percentage to go with six digs. Molly Winger led the Lions with 14 digs on the day, while Atlanta Moye-McLaren was a force with 10 digs and six kills. Brenton added seven kills and six blocks and Savannah Fletcher recorded five digs and five blocks, including one solo.
In the second match of the day, Columbia fell to Xavier in straight sets, 25-21, 25-14, 25-19.
Xavier controlled the majority of the first set, scoring the first two points of the game to take an early 2-0 lead. The Musketeers would hold on to the lead until Columbia knotted the score, 8-8. The score was tied twice more before the Musketeers went ahead for good. The Lions would come within three points on several occasions, making it a close game. With Columbia trailing 24-21, the Lions still had a chance to take the first set, but Xavier would score on a kill by Aubree Smith for the win.
Columbia scored first in set two but Xavier quickly tied things up 2-2 and took over the lead. With the score still close at 8-6, Xavier scored 14 unanswered points to extend its lead to 20-6.
The Lions responded with two consecutive points of their own, but the Musketeers would not relent. With the score at 24-11, Xavier needed just one more point for the win. Columbia fought to hold on with three straight points, bringing the score to 24-14. But a kill by Sarah Brown would give Xavier the 25th point and a 25-14 second set victory.
In the first half of the third set, Columbia stayed within 1-2 points as the Lions held on for a chance to rebound from the first sets.
With the score still close at 13-12, Xavier took off on a 7-1 lead to leave the Lions down 21-15. That would prove to be the difference for the Musketeers as Xavier finished off the set with a 25-19 victory to take the series, 3-0.
Gaughn recorded eight kills and seven digs to lead the Lions, while Brennan had eight digs and 16 assists.
Columbia will face the Aggies tomorrow at the Bob Carpenter Center in a 4:30 p.m. contest. Xavier, which was swept 3-0 by Texas A&M earlier in the day, will face Delaware tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Friday, September 7
10 a.m. - Texas vs. Xavier
12 p.m. - Delaware vs. Columbia W 3-1
5 p.m. - Columbia vs. Xavier L 0-3
7 p.m. - Delaware vs. Texas A&M
Saturday, September 8
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