GARNET VALLEY, Pa. — The Padua volleyball team has just one player who was a full-time starter last season, but they continue to challenge themselves on the court with a very demanding schedule. The Pandas traveled north of the (state) border on Oct. 11, where they faced a talented, veteran squad at Garnet Valley (Pa.). The Jaguars defended their home court with a sweep.
Set scores were 25-12, 25-13, and 25-13.
The Jaguars have eight seniors on their 11-person roster, with lots of height in Sarah Weins, Isabella Tront, Alicia Higgins and Sarah Wood. Weins opened the match with a blast straight down, and two blocks made it 3-0. Wood was particularly effective from the back line, scoring consistently on attacks the Pandas were unable to counter. Garnet Valley stretched the lead through the set, with Kelly St. Germain extending it to 10 points on a smash. Wood ended the set with one of her back-line kills.
St. Germain keyed a strong opening run in the second set, with the Jaguars going ahead, 10-1. The Pandas managed a four-point run that included an ace from Mary Mancini and a kill by Aanya Yatavelli, and they did not shy away from the bruising kills sent their way by the Jaguars.
Mandy Quinn tied the final set at 2-2 when she sent a free ball off the tape, but Weins smacked a shot through the Pandas’ block to put Garnet Valley on top to stay. Padua stayed within a few points for part of the third set before the Jaguars pulled away.
Mancini and Logan Tuschinski each had five kills to lead the Pandas. Padua (3-5) visits Newark Charter on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.