WEST CHESTER, Pa. – The Philadelphia University women's volleyball team ended the opening weekend of the 2016 season at 2-2 after dropping two matches in the final day of action at the West Chester University Ram Fest in Hollinger Field House Saturday. The Rams were upended by Daemen, 3-1, and host West Chester, 3-0.
Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) paced the Rams with a total of 22 kills and 28 digs in Saturday's action. Amber Johnson (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) contributed 15 kills and four blocked assists, while Corinne Justus (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus) posted 11 kills and six total blocks (two solo, four assists).
In the opener against Daemen, Philadelphia hit a team-high .220 in a 25-22 set one victory before Daemen took the next three sets in succession, 25-18, 25-16, 25-22.
The Rams got 11 kills and 14 digs from Wensel and nine kills from Johnson. Becca Lutterschmidt (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) and Justus added eight kills a piece. The eight kills are a career-high from Lutterschmidt.
With the opening set tied at 16, Philadelphia came out of a timeout and scored seven straight points, including two kills each from Justus and Wensel, to take a 23-16. Daemen came back to close the lead to 23-22, but Philadelphia hung on to win the set on a Wensel kill and a Justus service ace.
A 6-2 run in the second set proved to be the difference as it pushed the Daemen lead to 17-11 on a Philadelphia attack error. The Rams would get as close as four the rest of the set.
The Wildcats took control of a back-and-forth third set with a 14-4 surge that turned a 9-9 tie into a 23-13 advantage. Amber Drzymala led the run with three kills and an ace.
In the final set, Daemen opened up a 23-17 advantage on Drzymala's seventh kill of the match. Philadelphia closed the gap to 24-22 on a Justus kill, but Drzymala's eighth and final kill ended the match.
In Philadelphia's second match of the day, West Chester took the match with set scores of 25-19, 25-17, and 25-22.
Wensel had 11 kills and 14 digs, while Mariah Cadzow (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) and Johnson recorded six points. Leddy led the defensive effort with a career-high 17 digs.
The Rams had control during the early stages of the first set, getting out to a 12-7 advantage. Then, the host Golden Rams scored 13 of the next 14 points, six on Philadelphia errors, to open up a 20-13 lead. Philadelphia got as close as four (21-17) on back-to-back West Chester miscues.
West Chester led the second set from wire-to-wire as it hit a match-best .333. A 6-1 run was the key to the set as it gave the Golden Rams a 12-5 cushion.
Philadelphia nearly overcame a seven-point deficit late in the final set as the Rams scored six straight points to close within 23-22. West Chester scored the final two points to close out the final set.
The Rams head to Lincoln (Pa.) University for a non-conference match on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.