CLAYMONT – Archmere’s volleyball team jumped out to big leads all night long against Delaware Military Academy on Oct. 12, but the Auks were forced to work for their 3-1 win. The set scores were 25-13, 24-26, 25-16, and 25-16, but the final two sets seemed much closer than the scores indicate.
Playing in front of a nearly packed house – including a large contingent of vocal and colorfully dressed students as homecoming weekend began – it was all Archmere in the first set of this Diamond State Athletic Conference match. The Auks built up a 10-point lead at 18-8, stretched it to 13 at set point, 24-11, and allowed the Seahawks to save two set points before a hitting error brought the frame to an end.
Starting with the serve in set two, the Auks threatened to thrash their opponents in a similar fashion. An early five-point run that included a kill and block by Lauren Edmiston and concluded with a Julia Kochie smash put the hosts up, 6-1. Another streak of five points, which featured back-to-back aces from Hannah Wright, made the score 15-5. The lead appeared safe at was 22-14 following a DMA service error, but the Seahawks responded.
Two blocks, the second by Jackie Shields, cut the deficit to six. Archmere got a point back, but the Seahawks scored the next five, the final point coming on a block off the hands of Alison Banks. Shields saved DMA on the next point with a superb dig, but the ball bounced high into the air and deflected off a water pipe, falling to the floor to make it set point for the Auks. But the Seahawks rallied, and their five-point set-winning run closed with a Bryanna Garvey smash down the middle to tie the match.
Both teams showed off their fantastic defenses all night, but sometimes those acrobatics result in overpasses. Abigail Kates took advantage of two of those gifts early in the third set, with her second winner making the score 9-4 Auks. Archmere’s lead steadily increased, but the Seahawks made the Auks work for every point. The advantage reached 11 points, at 21-10, and this time the Auks would not let their opponents mount a comeback. Kates scored off the DMA block to make it 24-15, and after the Seahawks saved one set point, a service error ended it.
Shields went down the left side to put Delaware Military ahead, 4-3, in the initial stages of the fourth set, and Riley Sullivan tied the frame, 4-4, with a kill seconds later. But the Auks took the lead for good when Kochie went off the block, although closing it out would not be easy.
A Kochie ace and Kates blast down the middle wrapped up a 6-2 run to make it 11-6, and after Banks got those two points back with a block and a kill, the Auks scored 13 of the next 15 to take command, 24-10. Still, the Seahawks would not fold. They saved six match points that went like this: Auks hitting error, Shields kill, two more hitting errors, Garvey ace and a lift by Archmere. But the nerves of the Auks’ faithful were soothed when Edmiston drilled a shot between the Seahawks’ wall and the net.
Kochie and Edmiston each had 12 kills, with Kochie adding 15 digs and four aces, and Edmiston had four blocks. Hannah Wright had a team-leading 18 digs. The Auks won their 12th match against no defeats and return to action Tuesday at home against First State Military Academy at 6:15 p.m.
The Seahawks got 12 kills and 16 digs from Garvey. Shields had 10 kills, and Kaylee Longueria had 21 digs. DMA (6-5) returns home on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. against Newark Charter.