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Ursuline’s steady progress past few seasons indicated return to volleyball mountaintop

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Dialog reporter

 

NEWARK – Ursuline’s 2017 state volleyball championship is the school’s first since 2009, but for coach Sue Heiss and her players – in particular the seniors – it means so much more. Taylor Wright and Sam Davis were on the varsity squad as freshmen in 2014, a campaign remembered more for the fact that the Raiders missed the state tournament than the team’s improvement upon 2013’s win total by four matches.

The Raiders’ 8-7 mark in 2014 was not enough to get them into the final 16-team state tournament. The seeds had been planted, however, for this year’s championship, which the school earned on Nov. 13 with a five-set nail-biter over Catholic Conference rival Padua at the Bob Carpenter Center. Read more »

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It takes five sets, but Ursuline knocks off Pandas for first volleyball title since 2009

By

Dialog reporter

 

NEWARK – Taylor Wright spent most of the evening of Nov. 13 on a mission to restore Ursuline to the top of Delaware’s high school volleyball pyramid. Whether through a swing of her powerful right arm or a timely block, the Raiders’ senior outside hitter put on a performance that will be long remembered.

Wright’s final act – after two-plus hours of sometimes nerve-wracking, always exciting volleyball – sealed the deal for the third-seeded Raiders. She came in from the left side, jumped one more time and sent a spike down the middle to lift Ursuline past top-seeded Padua, 15-11, in the fifth set. That gave the Raiders a 3-2 win and their 12th state championship in front of a full house and of 2,836 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, a record for the volleyball final. Read more »

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Raiders return to volleyball title match with 3-1 win over Tower Hill

By

Dialog reporter

 

MILLTOWN – Ursuline needed five sets to get past Wilmington Charter in the quarterfinal round of the Delaware high school volleyball tournament, and the Raiders found themselves behind in their semifinal match against Tower Hill after losing the first set on Nov. 9 at St. Mark’s High School. But the third-seeded Raiders bounced back, winning the next three sets to defeat the No. 2 Hillers and advance to the championship on Monday.

“We didn’t get down on ourselves at all,” senior libero Sam Davis said. “We were thinking it’s go time, it’s now or never. There’s nothing we can lose. Let’s just go after it. We played really well after that.” Read more »

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Pandas complete volleyball regular season with tough win at Ursuline

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – Inside a sold-out, electric gymnasium Oct. 26 at Ursuline Academy, the bodies were flying as the host Raiders and their top-ranked archrival, Padua, put on a volleyball show worthy of a late-round tournament match. The No. 2 Raiders played tough on Senior Night, but the Pandas completed an unbeaten regular season with a 3-1 victory.

The set scores were 25-11, 18-25, 25-20, and 25-21. Read more »

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Living up to the hype: No. 3 Pandas need five sets to upset top-ranked Raiders

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – The momentum – and the scoreboard – were tilted in Ursuline’s favor when the Raiders met archrival Padua in a key Catholic Conference volleyball showdown Oct. 4. The Raiders, ranked first in the state by 302Sports.com, won the second and third sets and needed just one more to escape with a win.

But the third-ranked Pandas reached deep and went deep into their bench to roar back for a 3-2 triumph in front of an overflowing sellout crowd inside Padua’s steamy gymnasium. Set scores were 25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-6. Padua remained unbeaten at 9-0 while handing Ursuline its first setback. The Raiders are 6-1. Read more »

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No. 1 Raiders use big hitting, superb defense to overcome St. Mark’s

By

Dialog reporter

 

WILMINGTON – Two of the state’s best volleyball teams met Sept. 28, and they did not disappoint. Ursuline hosted St. Mark’s in a Catholic Conference showdown, and the host Raiders left with an entertaining, hard-fought 3-1 win in front of a spirited crowd.

Set scores were 25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-15. Read more »

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Bringing volleyball title back to Ursuline would mean ‘literally everything’

By

Dialog reporter

 

Hopes and expectations are high at Ursuline, where the Raiders are chasing their first state championship since 2009. The team returns nearly all of its roster from last season, when they went 11-4 in the regular season and 14-5 overall, falling in the state championship match in a heartbreaking five sets to Delaware Military Academy.

The chase begins Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. at Delmar. Read more »

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Delaware Military holds off determined Ursuline squad for volleyball title

By

Dialog reporter

 

NEWARK – As Victoria Taylor’s final swing of the night found an open spot on the floor, the Delaware Military Academy volleyball team breathed a sigh of relief. A season that had included some tension and uncertainty ended with the Seahawks united and celebrating their second consecutive state volleyball championship after five tough sets against Ursuline. The scores were 21-25, 28-26, 25-17, 25-27 and 15-12.

Taylor finished with a team-leading 24 kills in her final high school match, but she was hardly alone providing offense for the Seahawks. Jackie Shields contributed eight, and Natalie Lavelle added six. On defense, libero Kirsten Longueria collected 37 digs. Read more »

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Raiders outlast Auks in five sets, advance to first volleyball title match since 2012

By

Dialog reporter

 

MILLTOWN – Ursuline’s young volleyball team had allowed Archmere to tie Nov. 10’s semifinal volleyball playoff match at two sets apiece in ugly fashion, falling 25-12 in the fourth set. But instead of folding, the Raiders rallied, outlasting the second-seeded Auks in the deciding fifth, 15-12, to earn a berth in the state championship match Monday night at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

Set scores were 15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 12-25 and 15-12. The sixth-seeded Raiders will face off against the defending champion, No. 4 Delaware Military Academy, at approximately 7 p.m. It will be Ursuline’s 17th championship appearance and its first since 2012. Read more »

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Raiders sweep their way into volleyball semifinals

By

For The Dialog

 

MILLTOWN – No. 6 Ursuline avenged two earlier losses and swept the third-seeded Padua Pandas in the state volleyball tournament quarterfinals on Nov. 8 at St. Mark’s High School. Junior Taylor Wright led the way for the Raiders – who have just two seniors – with 11 kills and 20 digs. The set scores were 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21.

The magnitude of the match got to both teams early, as they committed several errors, but by mid-set they were playing outstanding volleyball. Padua senior Taylor Valletti had a kill and an ace to stake the Pandas to an 8-3 lead, but Wright and freshman Corinne Furey started finding holes in the Padua defense and cut the lead to 16-14. Read more »

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