Wood falls to DeLone in first round of states

For the past several seasons, Archbishop Wood had been on the brink of making the PIAA Class AA state playoffs but it hadn’t been in the cards due to a tough Philadelphia Catholic League and District 12.
The season came to an end Tuesday for Wood as it lost in straight sets to DeLone Catholic, the top seed from District three, 25-16, 25-15 and 25-20.
Wood failed to string scoring runs together as demonstrated right out of the chute in the first game. With the first game tied at seven, DeLone went on an 11-2 run which would be a sign of things to come.
The hitters of DeLone gave the Vikings a lot of trouble as the big bodies of the DeLone front line combined with the fast pace offense it ran Wood had a tough time adjusting and matching up with the big hitters.
“Throughout the whole season we’ve played teams that where we were the strongest in the middle,” Wood coach Sarah Spadafora said. “Today we found a team that also has very good middles and that’s a change that we couldn’t pick up with in the middle of a game.”
Defensively Wood played a good game but the good out of system saves were tough to turn into productive offensive opportunities.
Offensively because the Vikings were basically relegated to playing defense their offense failed to find rhythm because they weren’t in position to consistently set up its hitters. Wood only had 14 kills as a team through the first two games.
“I think when you’re in long rallies and they play great defense and we play great defense we just couldn’t put it together at the end of those long rallies,” Spadafora said. “That’s a big momentum changer too. It’s not just one point, that’s a big energy booster when you win those long rallies that makes a big difference.
When the offense was able to get going a little it was due to good setting of senior Kristen Nealson who finished with 14 assists and the good hitting of seniors Hayley Glah, Alysa McDevitt and Margaret Gorman.
The Vikings were able to finish off strong as although they weren’t able to pull out the third set they ended up with 11 kills in the set, almost as much as it had in the two sets prior as Wood conceded the final set 25-20.
“I told them before the third set, win or lose go out there as a team and play,” Spadafora said. “I don’t think we had that in the first two sets it didn’t look like the team that had been there the whole season at Archbishop Wood.”
For the seniors of Wood, who make up a significant portion of the team, they get to leave with a state playoff appearance on their resume while those who remain look to build upon their success.

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