WILMINGTON — Ursuline and Wilmington Charter traded wins in the first two sets of their volleyball match on Oct. 17, but the Raiders pulled away in the third and took command in the fourth, leaving the Charter School of Wilmington with a 3-1 win. Set scores were 25-17, 22-25, 25-19 and 25-15.
The third set started off on the seesaw, with the teams trading points through 7-7. Kylie Nocket, who had a stellar game, put Ursuline on top with a kill off a Force defender. Cassidy Markel tipped one over the Force’s front line, and the lead was two. It continued this way for most of the set, although the Raiders were able to add a point to the lead here and there. Emma Popham had a few kills throughout the middle of the third, and the Raiders played their normal outstanding defense.
Out of a Force timeout, Nocket delivered an ace to stretch the lead to 18-13, but Charter would not give in. Lugar blocked a kill attempt to make it 19-16, but the Raiders persisted. Popham provided one of the highlights of the afternoon when she scored on a block of an attempted stuff of a Raiders overpass to send the score to 22-17.
Back-to-back kills from Nocket positioned Ursuline at set point, but the Force saved two of them. The third chance, however, was the charm, as Emma Raftovich smacked a left-handed shot down the middle, off a defender and to the floor.
The Raiders got off to a 3-0 start in the fourth, and led by the offense of Nocket and Avery Brown, along with the defense of Markel, Sydney Davis and Heyli Velasquez, they had smoother sailing in the set. Nocket scored on a smash to make it 8-5, and she followed with an ace.
Markel showed her offensive chops as well, smacking consecutive kills to grow the advantage to 13-7. The Raiders still led by six at 16-10 when, out of a Force timeout, Nocket sent an overpass straight down. She followed that with a blast off the Charter block.
The Raiders’ lead was 23-13 when the Force picked up two points, but Ursuline wrapped it up courtesy of a Markel cross-court winner, followed by Avery Brown’s stuff of an overpass.
Nocket finished a fine afternoon with 19 kills, three blocks and 11 digs. Brown had 13 kills, and Popham and Markel each added 11. Sydney Davis led the way with 20 digs, one of five Raiders in double figures in that category. Markel and Hannah Kelley had four blocks each. The Raiders improved to 8-4 and begins a tough final week at home on Tuesday against Archmere at 7:15 p.m. Their schedule next week also includes Padua at home and Saint Mark’s on the road.
For the Force (5-8), Isabel Lugar was tops with 11 kills, followed by Ava MacMurray with six. Addie Miller had 24 digs, and MacMurray delivered four aces. Charter hosts Smyrna on Monday at 5:15 p.m.