The College of Wooster volleyball team was on the verge of sending a neutral-site match against 2017 NCAA Div. III Championships qualifier Hanover College to a fifth set until a late rally by the Panthers enabled Hanover to close out a 25-21, 18-25, 25-15, 26-24 win over the Fighting Scots on Friday evening at Heidelberg University's No One Fights Alone Invitational. Earlier in the day, Wooster fell to host Heidelberg 25-13, 25-22, 25-15.
Wooster (10-5) led as late as 20-19 in the second set against Heidelberg (10-5), thanks to a kill by senior Mayia Karagianni. Karagianni's kill came not long after Wooster's best stretch in the scoring column of Friday's opening match. Leading up to the 20-19 lead, back-to-back kills by senior Ashley Plassard and sophomore Meghan Botsch edged the Scots past the Berg at 13-12.
Later, Plassard's stellar play at the net resulted in an 18-17 lead, as the Scots' middle tied the second set at 17 before teaming up with Karagianni on a double-block that made it 18-17.
Heidelberg's Amy Feczer logged a match-high 12 kills, while Taylor Arbogast's 18 digs marked the match-high.
In the nightcap, senior Marija Cyvas tallied six of her career- and match-high 15 kills in the second set. The Scots leaned on the senior down the stretch to close out the Panthers (7-5). Cyvas' strong finish started with a solo block that padded Wooster's lead out to five at 21-16. Then, she teamed up with classmate Eleri Miller for a double-block prior to closing out the second set with back-to-back kills.
In the fourth set, Cyvas' 15th kill made it set point at 24-20, but Hanover rattled off six straight points to close the match.
Prior to the closing stretch, a Karagianni kill upped Wooster's lead to three at 21-18, and the Scots immediately extended out to a four-point advantage with a block by Plassard and senior McKenzie Reese.
Other stats to note from the Hanover match included 22 digs by Basinski and 11 kills by Plassard.
Cyvas previously had 14 kills against Franciscan University of Steubenville on Sept. 16, 2017 and matched that total last week against the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford.
Hanover's Ally Williams tallied 27 digs, while Blaise Chaney and Maddie Edwards each had 10 kills.
Next, Wooster hosts Marietta College (8-8) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in what marks the Scots' final tune-up for North Coast Athletic Conference play.