CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Hitting the road for Homecoming Weekend, the Wheaton College volleyball team faced off against DeSale University and Widener on Saturday afternoon on the DeSales University campus. The Lyons fell 1-3 (25-17, 16-25, 19-25, 23-25) to the hosts, before taking down Widener by the same score (25-23, 25-17, 23-25, 25-16).
Senior Elise Waelder led the Lyons with 10 kills in the match, finishing with a .417 attacking percentage. Deirdre Wilson finished with seven kills and a team-high 27 assists and 15 digs, while also recording a block. Claire Cansler had nine kills for Wheaton and a team-high three blocks.
Gabby Savite led all players with 15 kills for the Bulldogs, while Lisa Wallitsch had a match-high 41 assists. Natalie Gray ended the day with 25 digs and Savite led all players with four blocks.
Wheaton fell behind early in the first set, but rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to take a commanding 9-3 lead. The 9-0 rally was spurred by kills from Kendall Jacobs, Taylor Matook, Wilson and Cansler, as well as back-to-back-to-back attacking errors by DeSales. The Bulldogs pulled within a single point moments later, but that would be as close as the Lyons would let them get.
The second set started off far more competitive, but with the score at 10-9 Bulldogs, DeSales took control of the set with the help of unforced Wheaton errors. The third set came down to the wire with the two sides trading possession of the lead. With the set tied at 19-19, DeSales put together a 6-0 run to close things out.
The fourth and final set also began as a back and forth. After the Lyons tied the match at 11-11, the Bulldogs settled down, running out to a 19-14 advantage. Wheaton pulled within a point, 24-23, with a kill by Cansler, but Jess Swanson ended the match with a kill assisted by Gray.
Jacobs ended the match with a team-high 10 kills, while Matook had nine. Wilson earned 19 assists and Stephanie Martin finished with a team-high 12 digs. Waelder ended the contest with five blocks.
Kierston Forney concluded the match with 10 kills for the Pride, while Janie Kalinock had seven kills and a match-high six blocks. Barbieri led all players with 28 assists, while Lauren Elliott had a match-high 20 digs.
Wheaton returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Babson for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest at 7 p.m.