WILMINGTON — The St. Elizabeth volleyball team dropped the first set against visiting Brandywine on Oct. 4, but they bounced back to win the next three sets for a 3-1 victory at the St. E Center. It was the Vikings’ third win in their last four outings.
Set scores were 19-25, 2515, 25-21, and 25-18.
The Bulldogs gradually extended a 15-13 lead in the first set to 20-14 thanks to aces from Kayla Murphy and Jazzlyn Maloney, plus a few unforced Vikings errors. St. Elizabeth was able to cut that lead in half at 22-19 on a kill from Madison Small, but three straight hitting errors ended the set.
The second set was tied at each point between 1-1 and 6-6 before the Vikings gained some separation. A three-point run concluded with a kill by Annabella Zagame, who added another one after a St. Elizabeth error. The Bulldogs pulled to within five at 15-10, but an attack error gave a point and the serve back to the Vikings.
Laura Jezyk was on the serve for the next four points, the first of which was a kill by the libero, Farrah White, and the final two were aces from Jezyk that made the score 20-10. Zagame got it to set point with a kill to the back line, and after one save by the Bulldogs, the Vikings evened the score on a Brandywine error.
The Vikings began the third set on a 7-1 run, but the Bulldogs rallied to tie largely on the strength of Maloney’s service game. She had three aces during the 6-0 run, and the teams returned to the seesaw. St. Elizabeth took the lead for good at 11-10, although a kill by Maloney did make it a one-point margin once more at 14-13.
Jezyk surprised Brandywine by going over on a second hit to get the lead back to a pair, and the lead floated around the three-point margin. The Vikings took the set and the lead in the match on a Bulldogs service error.
Brandywine mixed an ace from Ava Reisman into a 4-0 start in the fourth, and the lead remained at four points when an attack error gave the Bulldogs an 8-4 advantage. But St. Elizabeth scored the next five points, with one coming on a White ace, and the Vikings took the lead for good at 11-10 when Adriana Gonzalez went down the middle with a kill.
That shot was the first in a seven-point Vikings run that also featured two aces from Jenna Bozzo and a Bulldogs overpass that was smashed by Sofia Carucci. Brandywine could get no closer than four the rest of the way. Skylar Head scored on a tip to send it to match point, and after one Bulldogs save, the evening ended with a hitting error.
Zagame led the Vikings with nine kills, while Head had six to go along with three aces and 11 digs. Jezyk had four kills, four aces and 16 assists, and White had a pair of aces and was all over the court in collecting 30 digs. St. Elizabeth (4-5) hosts Archmere on Friday at 6 p.m.
For Brandywine, Reisman had seven kills and two blocks. Maloney finished with six kills, four aces and a pair of blocks. Their libero, Maya Stokes, had 34 digs. The Bulldogs (4-4) begin a three-match homestand on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. against Brandywine School District rival Concord.
All photos by Mike Lang.