Archbishop Wood bounces back to beat Council Rock North

NEWTOWN — While Archbishop Wood senior Julia Wursta did not come out for volleyball last year, the Lady Vikings are sure glad she decided to return to the team for her final campaign.

Despite the fact that she doesn’t start for the Vikings, the outside hitter notched numerous aces in yesterday’s match at Council Rock North, helping Wood to a comeback win over the Indians, who won the first game 25-22.

“Those aces she got for us got us back in the game and allowed us to go on a run,’ said first year head coach for the Vikings Sarah Spadafora. “It’s a small role for the team but it’s very important. She really had a big impact on this game.’

In a comeback effort for Wood in game two, Wursta notched the winning point on an ace, helping the Vikes complete a 9-point run that ended in a 25-20 triumph for the visitors.

From there, Wood seemed like it was in control the remainder of the way, taking early leads in games three and four while never giving it back in game three.

“After winning the first game we thought we’d have momentum but for some reason we just lost it,’ explained Indians head coach Kinsey Lynch.

“We didn’t start off strong after that and they did; they were able to capitalize on those moments.’

“We had these mental lapses where we would make crucial mistakes at very important times in the game — especially between points 20 and 25 in game three.’

The coach was referring to a free ball that hit the ceiling late in the game and a pair of service errors by North.

“Those key moments in the game are so crucial,’ added Lynch “You have to be on point when the game’s on the line like that.’

To its credit, the Rock bounced back from a 6-point deficit at the midway point in game four to tie it at 22-all on kill by sophomore Morgan Collito then take a 1-point lead on an ace by senior Krista Campbell.

The Vikings closed game four — and the match — out however with a kill and a ball that North failed to return.

“Both teams were picking up the tips so I said ‘ go in and swing. We’re not going to win the game on these tips,” stated Spadafora. “Against a good team like that that plays good defense, you have to stay aggressive.

In game one, Wood battled back from a 19-14 shortfall to tie the game at 22-all only to see the Indians close the game out with kills by Katie Rentz and Campbell along with an ace by Megan Hannagan.

“They came out guns a blazing and they looked strong,’ said Spadafora. “Their serving pass was much better than ours the first two sets and they outplayed us.’

North threw everything it had against the Vikings in game four and each time, Wood dug the ball out with junior Ashley McAfee and Nicole Cripps accounting for most of those saves.

“Ashley and our entire back line had great passing, which allowed us to run our offense,’ She kept us in our system and made some fantastic digs

“She’s a talented player with a very bright future.’

Leading the way to the win for the Vikings was Makenzie Leh with 10 kills. Kristen Nealon came through with 36 assists and 12 digs, while McAfee and Cripps chipped in with 24 digs and 15 digs, respectively.

For the Indians, Morgan Collito led the offense with 16 kills with Hannagan adding 11 more. Campbell added 41 assists while junior Devon Ceslak came through with 40 digs.

After finishing third in the conference last season, North is now 0-2 overall, 0-1 in the Suburban One League National Conference after falling 3-1 to both Wood and William Tennent.

The Vikings — who made it all the way to the Philadelphia Catholic League finals last season — are 2-0, 1-0 in the PCL including a lopsided win over West Catholic.

NOTES: Spadafora is in for former AW volleyball coach Brian McCann. She hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a 2009 graduate of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC) where she was named America East Conference Rookie of the Year in 2005 and First Team All-AE in 2006.

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