SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. – The Philadelphia University women's volleyball team went 1-1 in its first day of action at the Raider Classic hosted by Shippensburg University Friday. Philadelphia defeated Shepherd 3-1 (25-11, 26-28, 25-23, 27-25) and lost to host Shippensburg 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 26-24).
Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) led the Philadelphia (4-3) offense as she recorded a team-high 26 kills between the two matches, while Mariah Cadzow (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) racked up 20 kills and 25 digs. Corinne Justus (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus) added 20 kills.
The Rams got off to a fast start in their opening set of the day against Shepherd, hitting .391 as they cruised to the 25-11 win. Philadelphia had seven of their 25 points come on service aces, three coming from Emily Pilla (Nesquehoning, Pa./Marian Catholic). Cadzow had four of the Rams 12 kills and served out the set with back-to-back service aces.
Philadelphia tried to break away from Shepherd at the start of set two with four straight points to take a 4-1 lead. Trailing 19-18, Shepherd rattled off five consecutive points to move ahead by four (23-19). Philadelphia responded seven of the next nine points and move within set point (26-25) on a Wensel kill. Shepherd scored the last three points to even the match.
The Rams overcame a late 21-19 deficit to take the lead in the match. Down by two, Wensel recorded back-to-back kills and Alexandra Harrington (St. Leonard, Md./Huntingtown) added an ace to put the Rams up one. Philadelphia scored three of the final four points to claim the third set.
Philadelphia had to erase a 20-16 Shepherd advantage to claim the match. Wensel, who finished the match with a season-high 19 kills, recorded a kill to spark a 5-0 run to put the Rams in front. After Shepherd tied the set at 25, Cadzow and Wensel both came through with a kill to end the match.
Cadzow ended up with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Justus had 13 kills. Harrington tallied a career-high 56 assists.
In the opening set of the second match, Shippensburg (4-1) broke open a tight set with six straight points to take a 17-10 lead. The Rams would get as close as five numerous times over the duration of the set.
The Raiders used a 7-2 second-set surge to open up a 22-14 lead. In the final set, Philadelphia took a 24-22 advantage on a block by Amber Johnson (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) and Cadzow. Shippensburg came back with four consecutive points to win the match.
Cadzow, Justus, and Wensel all had seven kills to lead the Philadelphia offense. Alexis Leddy (Reading, Pa./Berks Catholic) paced the defense with a career-high 20 digs.
Philadelphia returns to action in the Raider Classic on Saturday, Sept. 10 against Virginia State at 9 a.m. and Virginia-Wise at 4:30 p.m.