WILMINGTON — Ursuline, the third-ranked volleyball team in Delaware according to 302Sports.com, swept Blue Hen Conference Flight A leader Appoquinimink on Oct. 15. Set scores were 25-18, 25-16, and 25-18.
Still playing without their principal outside hitter, Corinne Furey, the Raiders again turned to her talented understudies. Kylie Nocket continued her strong season, leading the way with six kills, but this was truly a team effort.
The first set was the closest, as the Lady Jaguars had the score tied as late as 12-12 when Maddie Aniunas sent a kill of the Raiders’ block. With the score 17-15 Ursuline, the Raiders went on the run that would give them the set. Nordmeyer started it with a kill, and Cassidy Markel served up an ace. A hitting error and service winner made it 21-15, prompting an Appo timeout.
The Lady Jags were able to cut just one point off the Raiders’ lead, however, and the set ended on a crosscourt winner from Popham, followed by a hitting error.
The second and third sets followed similar paths, very different from the first. In each, the Raiders stormed out to substantial leads, then survived serious comeback attempts by Appoquinimink.
Appo scored the first point of the second on an Ursuline service error, but after regaining serve and knotting the score at one, the Raiders took command. They scored seven straight, the final point of that streak coming on a Sydney Davis ace, and after the Lady Jags ended that, Ursuline earned 11 of the next 12 points. Abby Rzucidlo chipped in with a kill and a block over that time as the lead ballooned to 18-3.
But the tide turned. Aniunas had back-to-back aces to make it 18-6. After Emma Raftovich increased the lead to 22-8, the Lady Jags found a rhythm. Katy DeSatnick scored on a kill, followed by an ace for Caroline Sherman. The Raiders hit one long, and Jillian Wyatt tipped one over the Ursuline block. Another kill and two Raiders errors later, and suddenly the lead was just 22-16.
The run ended at eight when the Lady Jags committed a hitting error, and the set ended with a strike by Nocket, followed by a Nordmeyer block.
As in the second, Appo scored the first point of the third, but when Davis took over the serve with the score tied, 1-1, she looked as if she would spend the rest of the match back there. The next 12 points, all going the Raiders’ way, included four Nocket kills, three Davis aces, a Raftovich block, two Raftovich crosscourt winners and two Appo errors. The lead was 13-1.
Ursuline still had an eight-point advantage when the Lady Jaguars mounted another comeback that started with an impressive dig that found the floor on the Raiders’ side. By the time Emily Brown’ ace hit the floor, Appo had climbed within five at 18-13.
Avery Brown restored order with consecutive kills, and another Markel ace gave the Raiders some breathing room. Two service errors, sandwiched around a pair of Lady Jags points, ended the match.
Rzucidlo had five kills, while Popham, Nordmeyer and Raftovich each added four. Davis had a team-leading 12 digs and five aces. The Raiders (10-1) were credited with 12 aces overall. Next up is Wilmington Charter at home on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
Individual statistics were not available late Monday night for Appo. The Lady Jags fell to 9-4 and travel to St. Georges on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m.