The Wright State volleyball team battled once-defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore down to the wire, but came up on the short end of a five-set decision to the Hawks Saturday afternoon at the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Challenge. UMES won the match 25-15, 22-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-13.
The Hawks erased an early 2-0 deficit in the opening set with four straight points to take the lead for good, only to see the Raiders even the match by winning the second set, scoring the final three points to break a 22-22 tie.
A Heidi Splinter closed the gap to 21-20 in the third set, but the Hawks followed with three consecutive points and later won the set on a service error. Wright State, though, forced the decisive fifth set by taking the fourth, breaking a 6-6 tie with a 6-0 run, four coming on three Marisa Aiello kills and one on a block by the freshman middle blocker and Ashleigh Lucco.
WSU went up 6-4 with six straight points in the final set, capped off by a Splinter kill and a Dani Branco service ace, and still led 9-8 on a Natalie Catani kill, but the Hawks followed with a 5-1 burst to go in front for good and held on for the win despite the Raiders closing to within one twice late.
In all, the match featured 29 ties and 15 lead changes. UMES (10-1) finished with a slight edge in kills (56-51) and in hitting percentage (.165-.144) and led 12-8 in blocks.
Splinter posted her fifth double-double of season as she led the Raiders with 14 kills and had 12 digs. Aiello added 11 kills.
Wright State (1-10) closes out play in the tournament Saturday night against West Virginia starting at 6:30.