WILMINGTON – One word could sum up Ursuline’s volleyball home opener Sept. 19 vs. St. Georges: ace. The Raiders served up an incredible 23 of them as they handled the Hawks, 3-0. Set scores were 25-14, 25-8 and 25-13.
Ursuline (2-0) is fielding an extremely young team in 2016, with three sophomores, five freshmen and an eighth-grader on the roster. But they were never in danger against St. Georges, which struggled on its service receiving and was credited with just seven kills on the night.
The Hawks, playing their first match of the season, trailed early by a single point, 4-3, with all of their points coming on Ursuline unforced errors. The fourth-ranked Raiders, however, would score the next seven points, a run that included three aces from Samantha Davis. St. Georges got as close as 16-10, but Ursuline scored seven of the next eight points on its way to the win.
St. Georges took its only lead of the second set at 2-1 when Jenna Burchfield served up an ace of her own, but the Raiders stormed back with seven in a row. Taylor Wright had three service winners during that run, and after the streak ended on a service error, Ursuline would score the next five. The final three of those were – of course – aces, this time from the arm of Abby Rzucidlo. Not to be outdone, Davis got the serve back later in the second and fired off four more during a five-point run. Wright finished the set with a tip off a nice set by one of Ursuline’s two seniors, setter Morgan Blasetto.
Unforced errors on the part of the Raiders allowed St. Georges to stay close at the beginning of the third set, but Ursuline pulled away as coach Sue Heiss got some valuable playing time for the entire roster. The Raiders scored nine of 10 points during one stretch to turn an 11-8 advantage into a 20-9 lead until Jessica Charlier picked up one of her team-leading five kills for the Hawks. A service error ended the match.
Wright paced the Raiders with 11 kills and five aces. Davis had 11 aces, and Corinne Furey added six kills. Ursuline stays home for its next match, a top-five battle with rival Padua on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. The Pandas are ranked second in the state.
St. Georges will return to the court on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. at home vs. St. Elizabeth.