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#4 Seed Padua Pandas Volleyball wins 2019 State Championship

302sports 139 Nov 12

NEWARK – When Jackie Barnett's cross-court shot found the far corner against Saint Mark's on Nov. 11 at the Bob Carpenter Center to secure the DIAA volleyball state championship for Padua, it brought the Pandas their first title since 2013. The fourth-seeded Pandas scored a mild upset of No. 2 Saint Mark's, 3-1, in front of a large, loud crowd. Set scores were 25-16, 21-25, 25-18 and 25-23.


Padua took control of the first set with a seven-point run to take a 14-7 lead. The worst news of the night for the Spartans, however, came with Padua leading, 22-14, when all-stater Savannah Seemans was lost with a left leg injury. She would not return.


The Spartans played an inspired second set and tied the match. The set was knotted again at 20 before the Spartans scored five of the final six points. Abby Thibodeau sent it to set point with a blast, and a communication breakdown by the Pandas ended it.


The third set was tied, 4-4, before Molen ignited a seven-point run by smacking a point off the fingertips of the Spartans' block. Sobczyk ended the third with two very different kills. The first was a straight-down blast, while the next one was tipped over the block.


The Spartans opened up the fourth in good shape, scoring the first four points. The lead was still four at 12-8, but two consecutive by Molen kills a few minutes later put Padua on top to stay at 16-15. Barnett's shot brought the season to an end.


Sobczyk finished with 19 kills and four blocks. Molen had 13 kills and 20 digs. Pritchard had 43 digs. The Pandas finished the season 16-3.


For the Spartans, Brooke Dow led the way with 12 kills and 15 digs, while Julia Yurkovich had 11 kills. Sam Gerhart had 22 digs. Seemans had seven kills in less than a set. Saint Mark's was 17-2.
DIAA Press