NEWARK, Del. – Delaware senior Katie Dennehy gave Virginia Commonwealth University all it could handle, blasting 19 kills to lead the Blue Hens to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-16) victory at Barb Viera Court Friday night.
VCU had hoped to replicate its stunning victory at Delaware a year ago, a 3-2 triumph in Newark that paved the way for the Rams' Colonial Athletic Association championship. However, Dennehy had other ideas, hitting .531 for the CAA preseason favorites.
Sophomore Kristin Boyd (Wilmington, N.C.) sparked the Rams with nine kills, while sophomore libero Marisa Low (Carlsbad, Calif.) (pictured, right) recorded 18 digs for the second straight match.
VCU (4-16, 2-2 CAA) jumped out to a 16-11 advantage in the opening set before Delaware (14-5, 3-1 CAA) awoke. The Blue Hens used an 8-2 burst, which included two kills from Alissa Alker, as well as a kill and ace by Kim Stewart, to knot the frame at 19-19. Delaware moved ahead for good a short time later when a service ace by Jess Chason and a kill from Karina Evans made it 22-20.
The second set was a barnburner, featuring 13 ties and seven lead changes. The Rams led 20-16 and 23-22, only to watch Delaware rally. Dennehy and Alker sandwiched kills around a VCU hitting error as the Blue Hens scored the final three points in a 25-23 victory.
Delaware outhit VCU by a slim, .272 to .270 margin, but the 'Hens owned a 10-1 advantage in service aces.
Seniors Mariel Frey (Lititz, Pa.) and Kelsie Clegg (Boise, Idaho) combined for eight blocks and registered six kills apiece for the Rams.
Stewart fired nine kills and Alker chipped in with eight for Delaware.
VCU returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 10 when it takes on Towson in a CAA road contest at 1 p.m. in Towson, Md.