The Padua Pandas outlasted Wilmington Friends Wednesday Night at St Marks.
The reigning state champs went five sets with the 10th Seed Wilmington Friends for the second straight season.
The Quakers saw their season end in the semifinal match. Padua will now advance to defend their DIAA Volleyball state championship against St. Marks.
The first four sets were extremely close with scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25. It was during the shortened and deciding fifth set that the Pandas took control winning by a score of 15-7.
Padua took an early lead in the set only to have Friends fight back to bring the score within two. Padua went on a 6-1 run extending their lead to seven. Three of those points came on huge kills from Madison Wilhelm and Meghan Peters.
That deficit would prove to be too much for the Quakers.
Padua’s primary hitter, McKenzie Sobczyk, has been slowed by a leg injury, but her teammates Peyton Sullivan and Peters had a big night on the offensive end. Sullivan and Peters posted 18 kills each to lead the Pandas offensively.
Defensively Colleen McClintock finished with an incredible 62 digs over the five sets, while Wilhelm was a presence in the middle as usual.
The Pandas will now face the Spartans for state championship. The match is scheduled for Saturday at Saint Mark’s at 7 p.m. You can watch the state championship game live on the NFHS Network on the DIAA channel.
There will be a third place match before the championship between Delaware Military Academy and Wilmington Friends. It will not be televised.