Cape graduate Mike Leclerc brought his Caravel volleyball team to Delmarva Christian for a Sept. 13 match.
Caravel took a 25-22, 25-21, 25-17 victory to move the Bucs to 1-2 on the young season. The Royals dropped to 2-1.
“I think my team played well,” said Leclerc. “The girls stayed together. We had a good offensive game plan. Delmarva Christian is a good team, and I knew we had to respect them. No time in the entire match did we take anything for granted. Props to them; they are a great team. I’m really proud of my girls. I thought they played a really good game. There were a lot of close points during the match where it was tight and my team could’ve folded, and they decided to stick together.”
Cameron Chapman led the Bucs with 11 aces and 11 digs, while setter Morgan Brown assisted on 20 points and recorded 14 digs. Kaitlyn Paoli served 10 aces in the match, while Colleen Sheridan had 15 digs and assisted on six points.
“I think after the first set we kind of knew the openings on the court, and we played smarter as a team,” Chapman said. “We ran some tandem shoots in the middle and stuff like that.”
Royals setter Ashlyn Stonebraker assisted on 26 points and had six digs, while libero Grace Fetterman had 17 digs. Chloe Wilson went horizontal numerous times to pick up eight digs. Savannah Stewart, Sierra Troyer, Mia Berger, Olivia Giltner and Evelyn Jensen teamed for 26 kills.
“We had way too many unforced errors serving early in the match,” said Delmarva Christian coach Jim Berger. “We weren’t committed to playing good defense. We were sitting back on our heels letting balls drop in front of us because we weren’t ready to play good defense. We were beaten by a lot of tips because we were sitting back and not reading.”
The Royals coach looked to the lack of vitality from his team as being a big part of their loss.
“We didn’t have any energy and came out flat,” he said. “If we had some energy, we could have come back from those unforced errors and mistakes. We do it all the time. But today, because of the lack of energy, the mistakes compounded instead of us correcting them. We had no one out there to pick us up. It was a team loss. We did not play Royals volleyball today. I tip my hat to Caravel. They played well and put the pressure on us.”
“We weren’t mentally prepared going into the game,” Fetterman said. “We just weren’t communicating as a team and playing as a team. We were definitely off. It’s a lesson learned, and we are going to fix it and get the next game.”
The Royals will travel to Salisbury Christian School Wednesday, Sept. 18, to face the Jaguars (1-5).