CLAYMONT — Archmere’s volleyball team, coming off a thrilling five-set win at Padua last week, returned to Moglia Fieldhouse for the latest battle in their very challenging schedule. In front of nearly a full house, including a boisterous student section, the Auks held off a determined Ursuline squad, 3-1. Set scores were 25-20, 25-27, 25-16 and 25-23.
One got the feeling early on that this would not be a quick three-setter. The Auks took a 4-1 lead to open the match, but a kill from Nina Piretti launched the Raiders into an 8-0 run. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Auks’ ran off five straight, with Katie Kuehl earning three of those points on kills.
The streakiness of the first set continued, with Ursuline going ahead by four, only to see Archmere break a 14-14 tie with three straight of their own, including two Kuehl aces. The Auks took the lead for good at 20-19 on a cross off the tape from Lydia Scarpaci, and Jessica Lattanzi ended the set with a block.
Hannah Kelley gave the Raiders a 6-5 lead in the second when she won a 50-50 ball, only to see Kuehl tie it with another kil. After that, however, a service error returned to lead and the serve to the Raiders, and they went to work. Kelley served up three aces during an 8-0 run, with Julia Terzaghi adding a few well-placed kills.
Again, the Auks fought back, going on their own 9-1 run to tie the score at 15 on a smash from Abby Garcia. From then on it was tied at every point until 21-21. Consecutive errors gave the Raiders a 23-31 advantage, and after an Ursuline hitting error, a Terzaghi tip sent it to set point. The Auks won the next three points, taking a 25-24 lead, but the Raiders closed it out on an unforced error to tie the match at a set each.
The Auks grabbed the lead early in the third, and this time, the Raiders could only tie it at 7 before the home team pulled away. Leading, 10-8, Kuehl smacked a ball through the Raiders’ wall, kicking off an 8-1 stretch. Sophia Scarpaci was on serve during this run, and she made it count. She had three aces, including consecutive ones to close out the run, before Terzaghi got one for Ursuline.
The Raiders saved two set points, but an error ended the set and gave the Auks the 2-1 lead.
That set up the fourth set, with the Auks determined not to go the distance again, and Ursuline in no hurry to go home. Archmere got off to a strong start, with Ella Strohmaier firing two aces in a 5-0 run, sending the student section into a frenzy. Again, the momentum changed, and Archmere coach Jerry McCarthy called a timeout to settle his troops down.
McCarthy’s message got through. Ava Beach bookended a 6-0 run out of the timeout, tipping one for the first point, then stuffing an overpass to make it 16-8. But the Raiders climbed back into it, eventually closing to within a single digit at 24-23. But Alanah Weaver took a bump set from Autumn Richardson-Peters and bombed a shot off a Raider to clinch the win.
Kuehl and Cece Connolly led a balanced Auks attack with nine kills each, while Beach had eight. Lattanzi had six blocks. Archmere (3-1) faces a road challenge on Wednesday when they visit Delaware Military at 6:30 p.m.
Ursuline’s final statistics were not available late Monday night. The Raiders (2-2) host Tower Hill on Saturday at 1 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.