Training camps are over. In a matter of days, girls high school sports teams from around the diocese will be playing for real. The schedules are a bit light in a short week, but there’s enough going on to get the fans’ adrenaline pumping. Keep your eyes on thedialog.org for volleyball previews over the next few days.
Archmere at Smyrna, 5:15 p.m.: Archmere has opened against the Eagles for the past few seasons, and it’s never an easy match. Four or even five sets would not be shocking.
St. Georges at Saint Mark’s, 5 p.m. Spartans fans can catch their highly ranked volleyball team before heading out for football. St. Georges is the defending Blue Hen Conference Flight A champions.
Indian River at Ursuline, 4:45 p.m.: The defending Henlopen Conference South champs make the long drive to Wilmington. The Indians are led by junior hitter Raychel Ehlers.
Padua at Polytech, 4 p.m. The Pandas open the season on the road against one of the traditional field hockey powers. They were 14-1 last year and advanced to their first state championship match, so the bar has been set pretty high. Padua lost just three seniors from that team, so the roster is loaded with juniors and seniors. Seniors Angela Taglione and Grace Mercer, along with junior Anna Getty, pace the offensive attack, while senior Shannon MacCormac is a rock in the cage. Polytech went 12-3 last season, reaching the semifinal round of the tournament. Both the Pandas and the Panthers were defeated by eventual state champion Cape Henlopen. Padua opens the season with three straight and six of their first seven on the road. The Pandas have just four matches on the grass at Forbes Field.
Indian Creek at Ss. Peter and Paul, 4 p.m. The Sabres are looking to add a few wins to last year’s 6-7 mark. Their season ended in the ESIAC semifinals. Only two seniors were on the roster in 2018.
Concord at Archmere, 3:45 p.m.: The Auks went 9-6 in 2018, reaching the quarterfinal round of the Division II state tournament. They are replacing a bunch of graduated seniors, but five talented freshman join returners such as Elise Angiullo, Briley Strine, Devin Dawson and Rebekah Keohe. Maura Smeader is back for her third year as the team’s goalkeeper. Concord defeated the Auks, 3-2, in the season opener last year.
St. Thomas More at Mount Pleasant, 3:30 p.m.: The Ravens travel to northern New Castle County for the lid-lifter at Mount. The Ravens return several players from last season, including four seniors: Emily Godfrey, Jane Godfrey, Margaret Kosior and Allison Windham. The Green Knights will present a stiff test; the team reached the state Division II semifinal round last fall.
Saint Mark’s at Newark, noon. It’s a new beginning for the Spartans, who struggled last season. Senior Ciera Fowler and a pair of sophomores, Lindsay Sawyer and Leah Pala, anchor the offense. Saint Mark’s defeated Newark last season for their first win of the year.