Pandas rebound from big deficit, take volleyball opener


For The Dialog


WILMINGTON – Defending state champion Padua rallied from two sets down for a 3-2 win over Archmere in the season opener for both teams Monday night at Padua. The set scores were 23-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-17 and 15-10.

The Pandas were in control early, but Archmere gained the advantage following several unforced errors. Padua led the first set, 23-15, but the Auks capitalized on several miscues by Padua. A kill by sophomore Grace Merritt clinched the comeback for Archmere, which scored the final 10 points of the first set.

Padua (1-0) had some early kills in the second by senior Stephanie Annone, but the Auks rebounded behind senior Emily Dentinger and sophomore Zoe Akoto, winning to take a 2-0 lead.

“After the set, we talked about getting mentally back into the match,” Annone said.

That is what Padua did in the third, and it continued into the fourth, when freshman Emily Jarome introduced herself to the high school volleyball scene. Jarome scored the final four points of the fourth set on powerful kills.

Archmere (0-1) stopped the bleeding for a while in the fifth and deciding set, taking a 5-0 lead behind the serving of sophomore Kaylie Leclerc. Padua scored the next four, then the front line of Jarome, Annone and senior Vanessa Crumety heated up. Jarome ended things with a thunderous kill. She finished with 20.

“The other players were so supportive of me, and I felt I could play at this level,” she said.

Annone added 16 kills, while senior Hailey Baker had 44 assists. Padua travels to Virginia on Saturday to meet Paul VI at 1 p.m., while Archmere visits Delmarva Christian Friday at 5:15 p.m.