WILMINGTON — Ursuline volleyball bounced back after a tough second-set loss for a 3-1 victory over the Charter School of Wilmington on Nov. 5. Set scores were 25-22-14-25, 25-23, and 25-19.
The Raiders were up as many as nine points in the first set at 22-13, but closing the deal proved a difficult task against the veteran Force squad. Charter scored eight of the next nine, cutting the Raiders’ lead to 23-21 on an ace by Christina Marcin. But a hitting error sent it to set point, and Faith Kleitz ended the set with a kill off the tape.
Charter continued its hot play into the second. Marcin and fellow junior big Ava MacMurray did much of the damage. MacMurray scored the Force’s first point of the set by crushing a ball straight down, then moved to the service line and delivered an ace to send her team in the right direction. Marcin scored consecutive points of her own later in the set, smacking one ball off the court up into the bleachers, the next on a deft back-line kill.
The Force stretched the lead with a run halfway through the second that included a MacMurray ace, two Marcin bombs, another ace from MacMurray and a kill from Anjali Vishwanathan. The Raiders could get no closer than five the rest of the way, and Marcin punctuated the set with yet another ace.
Ursuline regrouped between sets, running out to a 6-1 lead in the third. This time, the Force committed the mistakes, and Avery Brown added a kill, while Kleitz threw in an ace. Charter finally forged a tie at 15 after a kill and a block from Marcin, and the hosts eventually went up three at 21-18.
An unforced error cut the deficit to two, and Hannah Kelley scored on an ace. After a Raiders hitting error, Samiah Sudler-Brooks tipped one over the Force wall for a point. After Kleitz smacked a kill to tie it up, MacMurray reciprocated for the Force. Ursuline’s final three points came on Charter miscues.
It was the Force who stormed out in the fourth set, building a 6-0 advantage. MacMurray had three kills during that span, and Addie Miller ended the run with an ace. But a kill by Ava Panunto off a diving Charter player started the comeback. Brown picked up a block, and after a hitting error on Chrater, Kleitz served up an ace.
Charter built the lead back to five, 11-6, but the Raiders scored five straight with Kaitlin Burns on the serve. After the Force again went ahead, the Raiders made their final push. A service error on Charter snapped a 17-17 tie, sparking a five-point Raiders run. Brown scored on a kill to send it to 23-18, and, after Charter got one back, the match ended on a hitting error and a net violation.
Brown finished with 15 kills; Kelley added eight and Kleitz seven. Heyli Velasquez led with 34 digs. The Raiders (3-1) are back in action Saturday afternoon at 3 against Delaware Military Academy.
Final statistics were not available for Wilmington Charter early Friday. The Force (0-5) travel to Appoquinimink on Saturday at 1 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.