NEWARK, Del. – Junior Kirsten Bates (Calgary, Alerta) registered a match-high 16 kills and added 15 digs, but the University of New Hampshire volleyball team dropped its opening game at the Delaware Invitational, 3-2, to the host Fightin’ Blue Hens. The set scores were 15-25, 25-21, 25-15, 19-25 and 15-9. The Wildcats fell to 0-4 overall, while Delaware improves to 1-3. UNH continues play at the Delaware Invitational on Saturday with a pair of matches against Michigan State (11 a.m.) and Syracuse (5 p.m.
The first set was tied at 7-7 before the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run and gained control of the set and cruised to the double-digit win. UNH had 12 kills and hit at a match-best .379 percentage. The second set was a back-and-forth affair with neither team holding a large lead early on as the teams tied at 19-19 until the Blue Hens closed out the set on a 6-2 run. In the third set, Delaware jumped out to a 15-7 lead and never looked back as they went on to a 25-15 win. However, the Wildcats rallied in the fourth set as they took their first lead at 7-6 and never trailed again as they had a match-best 13 kills and hit at a .182 clip. In the final set, UD garnered five-of-the-first-six points and UNH never recovered as the Fightin’ Blue Hens earned the 15-9 set win and a 3-2 win in the match.
In addition to Bates, freshman Pauline Acres (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) tallied 11 kills and hit at a .128 clip, while Justine Elliott (Mitchellville, Md.) had eight kills for the Wildcats. Kate Uitti (Pinckney, Mich.) had a season-best 38 assists, while defensively Alyse Lahti (Pepper Pike, Ohio) had 27 digs.
The Wildcats conclude play at the Delaware Invitational on Saturday with matches against Michigan State (11 a.m.) and Syracuse (5 p.m.). UNH will open the home portion of its schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in Lundholm Gymnasium against Bryant University. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com. This match will be streamed online at unhwildcats.tv. Wildcat fans can watch the Bryant game free of charge as a promotion for the annual subscription plan. For the rest of the 2008 volleyball season, fans can purchase events on a per game basis for $6.95 or they can purchase the annual subscription for $79.95.