CLAYMONT — Archmere continued its strong play of late, defeating Caravel in four sets on Oct. 12 at Moglia Fieldhouse. It was the Auks’ fourth straight victory, putting the team over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Set scores were 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, and 25-10.
After three close sets, the fourth was all Archmere. It was the only one in which the Auks did not trail, and the only tie was at 1-1. A service error put Archmere in the lead, 2-1, and the home team scored the next five. Abby Garcia contributed a cross-court winner, and Jessica Lattanzi added a block. But the final three, before the Buccaneers regained the serve, came on hitting errors.
The Bucs trimmed a 7-1 Auks lead to two points, with a four-point run capped by consecutive aces from Nicole Rankin, but with the score 8-6, the Auks pulled away. Lattanzi went straight down with a kill, and Cecilia Connelly followed with a block. Sophia Scarpaci then delivered an ace, and a violation on the Bucs made the score 12-6.
Connelly showed her offensive abilities later in the set, scoring on a monstrous kill, followed by back-to-back stuffs of Caravel overpasses. The Buccaneers trailed, 17-9, after a kill from Rankin, but the Auks scored eight of the final nine points. Garcia was responsible for five of those, including the last three. Her smash ended the match.
The other sets did not resemble the fourth at all. The Bucs led the first set, 14-9, before the Auks began a comeback. The Caravel lead was three, at 21-18, after an Auks attack error, but the Auks tied the score on a kill down the middle by Hope Merritt, a block from Connelly and a hit down the left side by Garcia. A few points later, Rankin tipped one over the Auks’ block to pull the Bucs within one at 24-23, but Garcia’s blast off the defense gave Archmere the win.
The teams were tied through 6-6 to open the second, but the Bucs scored four straight after that on four Auks errors. Rankin and Laila Glover provided most of the punch up front for Caravel, but they also had assistance from Lillian Morton, whose consecutive aces put her team on top, 18-13. Rankin’s kill later on sent it to set point, but the Auks saved four of them before Glover’s cross won it.
The Buccaneers opened up an 8-4 lead in the third, but the Auks forged a tie at 10 on an ace from Autumn Richardson-Peters, then went ahead when Lattanzi found an opening down the middle. Rankin’s ace tied the score for the final time at 12, but Lattanzi put the Auks ahead for good with a blast on the next point.
Merritt had a strong third set, helping the Auks maintain a lead with some big kills. Glover and Rankin were Caravel’s primary weapons, although it was Allyson Brockell who won a 50/50 ball at the net to bring her team within two late in the set. Connelly scored the set-winning point with a bomb off the Buccaneers’ block.
Garcia led the way with 15 kills, while Merritt had nine and Scarpaci eight. Lattanzi recorded eight blocks, and Richardson-Peters had four aces to go along with a team-leading 21 digs. The Auks improved to 5-4 and host Wilmington Charter this Friday at 6:30 p.m. as part of homecoming weekend.
The Bucs’ stats were not available early Wednesday morning. Caravel (5-4) travels to Concord on Friday for a 4:45 p.m. start.
All photos by Mike Lang.