WILMINGTON — Archmere had won the first two sets against Delaware Military Academy in the teams’ Diamond State Athletic Conference volleyball match on Oct. 27, and the Auks were in the catbird seat in the best-of-five battle. But the Seahawks stormed back to take the next two sets, and with it all the momentum. Archmere, however, staged a spirited comeback in the fifth and deciding set to escape with a 3-2 victory.
Set scores were 25-17, 28-26, 14-25, 13-26, and 15-13..
The Seahawks, playing in front of parents for the first time this season, used a smothering defense to take the third and fourth sets. They were able to cover the floor against the Auks’ attack, with libero Kaylee Longueira and others spending a prodigious amount of time sprawled out on the floor. They appeared in good position to continue that trend in the fifth.
But it was the Auks who jumped out early in the race to 15 points. After conceding a point on a net violation, the Auks took the next four, three on violations and one on a service winner from freshman Autumn Richardson-Peters. The Seahawks, however, responded.
They scored the next seven with Ashley Ludlum on serve. Reilly Annable smacked down an overpass. Ludlum served up an ace to tie the score. Consecutive blocks, an unforced error and a kill from Riley Sullivan put DMA up, 8-6.
DMA led, 12-10, when Archmere went on a bit of a run, and the Seahawks were three points from completing the comeback. Archmere scored on a Delaware Military Service error, giving the serve to Colleen McCann. Ava Scarpaci tied it with a smash to the far right corner, and the Seahawks called timeout.
The Auks took the lead on a hitting error, but Morgan Giofre knocked one off the tape to level the score at 13. Lydia Scarpaci found a hole in the DMA defense with a tip over the net, setting up match point. The teams went into another long rally, which was the order of the evening, before it came to an end. The Seahawks kept the point alive with three nice saves, but their final kill attempt fell inches wide, and the Auks could breathe a sigh of relief.
It was a fitting end to a long night of volleyball that included a kicked ball by Archmere’s Rachel Sisson that was then sent over the net by Hannah Wright while Wright was parallel to the ground. Archmere turned a close first set into a convincing win, then fought off three set points to sneak a win in the second.
DMA used a strong service game and blanketing defense to mount the comeback. The built leads larger than 10 points in each of the second two sets.
Ava Scarpaci led Archmere with 11 kills, while Wright had 32 digs. Jess Lattanzi and Hope Merritt each posted five blocks. The Auks improved to 2-0 and hosts MOT Charter on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
For the Seahawks, Sullivan led the way with 12 kills, and she added 15 digs. Longueira had a stellar night on the back line, coming up with 48 digs, while Delaney Schultz contributed 30. Delaware Military Academy (1-2) battles Wilmington Charter on the road Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.