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Pandas ‘ace’ first test in sweep of Concord

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WILMINGTON – Padua found its service game in the first match of the season, delivering 17 aces in a 25-13, 25-12, 25-10 sweep of Concord in both teams’ opener Friday night on North Broom Street.

Senior Megan Barnett started the match with an ace as the Pandas (1-0) jumped to an early lead. Emily Jarome, Padua’s sophomore outside hitter, had a few kills in the first set, followed by an ace of her own to make it 14-7.

In the second set, Padua pulled away on the strength of six aces from Lauren Mellor. Three of those came after Concord (0-1) had trimmed the Pandas’ lead to 11-8. The third set featured some great blocking by the Pandas’ Ella Welsh, who finished with six. Padua scored the final eight points of the third to win going away.

Sophomore Emma Lucey and Barnett each recorded 11 assists for the Pandas, who are replacing an all-state setter. Jarome led the balanced Padua attack with 11 kills, three aces and five digs. Padua is off until next Friday, when Wilmington Friends will visit for an early showdown. The start time is scheduled to be 6:45 p.m.

Junior Gabriella Portincasa paced the Raiders with 10 kills, while libero Veronica Hill had 20 digs. Concord travels to Wilmington Charter on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. start.