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Padua Wins Another Five Set Battle to Reach the State Champions

302sports 52 Nov 8

By Mike Lang

 

Padua’s Madison Wilhelm’s spike llifted Padua to a fifth-set win over Wilmington Friends and a berth in the DIAA volleyball state championship match Monday night at the Bob Carpenter Center. Set scores were 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 20-25 and 15-9.

Both teams continued a streak of five-set matches in the tournament. Friends, the 24th seed, was looking to pull off its fourth upset after defeating Smyrna, Cape Henlopen and Newark Charter to reach the semis. They bounced back to tie the match with the fourth-seeded Pandas after falling behind twice, but Padua pulled away in the final set.

Padua had a 6-4 lead in the fifth set before scoring six straight to open it up. That run began with blocks from Jess Molen and Mackenzie Sobczyk, and it also included an ace and a Meghan Peters block. Abigail Carian saved one match point for the Quakers, but Wilhelm guaranteed it wouldn’t go any further.

Molen had 19 kills to pace the Pandas. Sobczyk had 14, along with five blocks. Wilhelm had four blocks, as did Jackie Barnett. Ireland Giaquinto led the way with four aces, and Sarah Pritchard was all over the back line, collecting 40 digs. The Pandas improved to 15-3.

They will meet Saint Mark’s for the title. The teams split this season. The teams' most recent tournament battle was in the semifinals two years ago, with the Pandas winning. Padua will be seeking its first title since 2013.

Final statistics were not available for Friends, who finished 13-7.