WILMINGTON — Emily Jarome has had enough of bowing out in the state tournament in the semifinal round, as has happened in her freshman and sophomore seasons. Last year, the Pandas had a 2-0 lead over Archmere in the semis before dropping a heartbreaker in five sets. Jarome, a first-team all-state hitter, said the Pandas are ready to take that next step. That means learning from their opponents.
“In season, even if we don’t beat them, if we learn how they play and how they move around, I think it’s really going to help us in the long run. I just hope this year we can finally get out of semis,” Jarome said.
It will be an experienced Padua team, with four seniors and seven juniors on the roster. Jarome is the principal weapon, but hardly the only one. Senior Gabriella Welsh and junior Emma Lucey provide support on the front line, while Maddie Judge is a strength at libero. One freshman has penetrated the varsity circle. Jess Molen “is going to be somebody you need to watch out for,” Jarome said.
The Pandas’ flexibility on the floor will help them, she added. “This year, we have a lot of different players who can play different positions. Not one player is set in her ways. Everybody’s willing to go somewhere else to better the team.”
Coach Lauren DiSabatino said she welcomes the ability of her players to line up anywhere on the floor, but she added that she has the depth to give them breathers. She needs people to become reliable alternatives to Jarome on offense.
“It’s really easy to go to Emily every time, but everybody in the state knows that’s going to happen. So we need some of our players to step up and help her out and help us out,” she said.
Padua will play just six times at home this year and not until they finish a three-match road trip to open the campaign, the last of which is at Friends. The Pandas also will battle DMA, Tower Hill, St. Thomas More and Archmere in addition to their Catholic Conference foes.
Padua, with the experience and motivation to battle anyone, will be a contender once again this season. They just need to stay confident, DiSabatino said.
“Padua needs to trust itself; it needs to play the volleyball that we practice,” she said.
09/10/16 Saturday @ St. Paul VI Catholic (Va.) 1 pm
09/12/16 Monday @ Concord 5 pm
09/15/16 Thursday @ Friends 6:45 pm
09/20/16 Tuesday ST. MARK’S 7:15 pm
09/22/16 Thursday @ Ursuline 7:15 pm
09/27/16 Tuesday NEWARK CHARTER 6:30 pm
09/29/16 Thursday @ Delaware Military Academy 6:45 pm
10/01/06 Saturday ST. ELIZABETH 2:30 pm
10/05/16 Wednesday TOWER HILL 6:45 pm
10/11/16 Tuesday @ Unionville (Pa.) 4:45 pm
10/13/16 Thursday @ St. Elizabeth 7:15 pm
10/17/16 Monaday @ St. Thomas More 5:30 pm
10/21/16 Friday ARCHMERE 6:15 pm
10/25/16 Tuesday @ St. Mark’s 6:45 pm
10/27/16 Thursday URSULINE 7:15 pm