CLAYMONT – Fifth-ranked Archmere used solid defense and some big serves to defeat No. 2 Wilmington Charter, 3-1, in Diamond State Athletic Conference volleyball on Sept. 13 at Moglia Fieldhouse. Set scores were 23-25, 25-18, 25-22, and 25-19.
When a team has four six-footers who can hit, the opponent needs some solid defense. Whether it was a big block by Lauren Edmiston or a diving dig by Hannah Wright, the Auks had a strong defensive match. They finished with 17 blocks and 12 aces in the win.
The first set was a weird one as Archmere scored the first four points before Maddie Matheny and the Force took over, scoring nine straight to take a 9-4 lead. The Auks got back in it, scoring four straight behind the blocking of Edmiston, Julia Kochie and Abigail Kates. They continued to throw up a three-person wall whenever Matheny went up for a kill. The Auks took a 23-22 lead on a Kochie kill, but the Force scored the last three points and took the first set on a kill by freshman Christina Marcin.
The Auks got the service game going in the second set, and back-to-back aces by Mackenzie Popp staked the Auks to a 16-9 lead. Matheny tried to lead the Force back but a back row attack violation gave the Auks the second set.
The third set saw a lot of big kills by Kochie for Archmere and Matheny for Charter. The Auks took an 8-6 lead on a Kochie kill and then got a few big kills from Edmiston and Popp to lead, 22-16. Matheny led a Force comeback again, but a diving dig from Wright led to a kill by Kochie for a 23-21 lead. Kochie ended the set with another powerful kill.
The Auks threw up a block party in the fourth set, scoring three straight with the defense. The third, from Kochie, put Archmere in front, 15-14. Popp served up the last of her six aces to extend the lead to 18-14. The Auks ended the match on a Kochie kill to pick up the huge conference win.
Kochie finished with 18 kills, seven blocks, 12 digs and an ace. She had help as Edmiston finished with seven kills and four blocks, while Wright had 16 digs. The Auks (3-0) travel to No. 7 Conrad on Tuesday for another Diamond State showdown starting at 6:30 p.m.
For Wilmington Charter, Matheny had 22 kills, 12 digs and two aces. The Force (1-1) start have a tough road ahead of them next week, with a home conference match against Delaware Military Academy on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m., followed by a road trip to sixth-ranked Padua on Thursday night.