NEWARK, Del. – The Philadelphia University women's volleyball team will play in its first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament final since 2013 after knocking off Bloomfield College, 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-16), in a semifinal round match Saturday afternoon at Wilmington University.
The Rams has now won 16 in a row, a streak that started after a loss to Bloomfield on Oct. 1, as they improve to 28-4 overall.
Philadelphia—who will face Caldwell on Sunday, Nov. 20 at noon in Wilmington—is in the final match of the conference tournament for the fifth time in program history (2006, 2008, 2009, 2013). The Rams are 0-4 in the final with all four losses coming to Georgian Court.
In the regular season, Philadelphia defeated Caldwell—a 3-1 winner over two-time defending champion Post in the other semifinal—3-1 on Sept. 17 in New Jersey.
Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) notched her 26th double-double of 2016 as she racked up 15 kills and a match-high 19 digs. Mariah Cadzow (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) had 15 kills, five digs, four assists, and three aces.
Alexandra Harrington (St. Leonard, Md./Huntingtown) contributed 36 assists, 10 digs, and six kills. Harrington now has six double-doubles this season.
The Rams struggled going out of the gate in the opening set, hitting just .028 and committing nine attack errors. Bloomfield (21-13) broke a 6-all tie with an 11-1 run, which included two kills and one ace from Paola Noble, to open up a 17-6 advantage. Philadelphia got as close as six twice the rest of the way.
Philadelphia stole control of the second set away from Bloomfield, scoring eight straight points to turn a four-point deficit into a 20-16 lead on a Harrington kill. Cadzow served up a pair of aces during the run. After the Bears narrowed the gap to 23-22, the Rams forced a pair of Bear attack errors to win the set. The Rams—who hit .256 in the set—had a balanced attack that had three kills each from Harrington, Cadzow, and Wensel.
Trailing 18-15 in the third, Philadelphia would erase the deficit with three straight points, including a Cadzow kill and an Ariana Rosario (Guaynabo, Puetro Rico/CPN) ace. With the score even at 24, the ninth tie of the set, the Rams took advantage of two setting errors to win the third set. Wensel and Cadzow had five kills a piece to lead the Philadelphia offense.
Five straight Philadelphia points early in the final set gave the Rams an 8-3 cushion on a Wensel kill. Bloomfield closed the gap to 9-7, but Philadelphia responded with 14 of the next 21 points, six on Bear attack errors to open up a match-high 23-14 lead.
Valerie Bermudez led the Bears with 16 kills, a .229 attack percentage, and 14 digs. Jacquelyn Madlock added 19 assists and 13 digs.