WILMINGTON – After starting the season with two straight wins, including an upset of perennial power Ursuline, St. Elizabeth looked to continue their winning ways Saturday afternoon when Caesar Rodney visited the St. E Center. The Riders, however, had other ideas, handing the Vikings a 3-0 loss in three tightly contested sets.
The scores were 25-17, 25-23 and 29-27. Caesar Rodney improved to 2-1 on the season, while St. Elizabeth fell to 2-1.
Extra points were needed in the final set, which was tied 11 times, including at 24, 25, 26 and 27. Caesar Rodney could not close it out after leading, 24-21, as the Vikings scored on a service winner by Elisa Hackendorn, followed by an ace that tipped off the tape. St. E took a 25-24 lead on a mishit, but the teams went back and forth, with the final tie coming at 27 when a Riders serve went long. An unforced error by the Vikings, followed by a kill that landed on the end line made the final score 29-27.
St. Elizabeth got off to a slow start, with mistakes helping CR to a 3-0 lead. The Vikings fought back, knotting the score at 9, but after that, Caesar Rodney took command with an eight-point run. The Riders were led by Camille Lecompte, who quarterbacked the squad and played stellar defense, and the hitting of Jennifer Bones and Kaitlynn Herlihy. St. Elizabeth got to within six points, but a win eluded them.
Things were looking equally bleak midway through the second set, as CR jumped out to a 19-13 lead. The Vikings scored four of the next six points, but Caesar Rodney used two kills by Herlihy to get to set point, 24-20. A kill attempt by Lecompte into the net, followed by a kill by Hackendorn, and a net violation by CR brought the hosts to within a point, charging up the home crowd. Lecompte ended the comeback hopes,however, tapping an overset to the floor for the 25-23 win.
Caesar Rodney is back on the court Tuesday at 5 p.m. at home against Delmar, while the Vikings host top-ranked St. Mark's on Thursday at 7 p.m.