The Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware hosted the final round of the 2017 DIAA volleyball tournament and it was the Raiders of Ursuline Academy who walk away with the state championship after a five set slobberknocker with the Padua Pandas.
It took 210 points to decide a victor as Ursuline outscored Padua 108-102 overall.
The Pandas looked to get things started on the right foot and opened up the first set strong. Ursuline would stay on their heels making an effort of it but eventually falling to the Pandas 25-23.
The Raiders switched sides and turned on a swith coming out in the second set on fire putting away any shot at a Padua sweep with a 25-19 answer.
You could see the determination on both teams' parts really kick in for the third as seniors Taylor Wright and Samantha Davis for Ursuline as well as Emily Jarome and Emma Lucey for Padua start to take the match over.
The Raiders also had some key plays from sophmore Corrine Furey as the barnburner third set put Ursuline up 2-1 with a 25-22 score.
Pandas not going into the night without a fight dug deep and pulled out the 25-20 fourth set to send the championship match to a race to 15.
Ursuline got ahead early with a five point lead at one point as Padua kept clawing their way back into it.
Only a few miscues in the last stanza and Taylor Wright put away the final point to crown the Ursuline Raiders the 2017 DIAA volleyball state champions.
"Big thing going into this game was that we were able to keep our composure throughout the sets," said Wright after the game. "We were able to do that tonight and that really helped us out."
The Raiders knew they were going to have an uphill battle if they wanted to take the championship away from a team that had bested them twice in the season.
"I don't have any words, honestly.I'm so shocked at this feeling. It hasn't really hit me yet," said Ursuline's senior libero, Samantha Davis. "I've never been more proud of a group of girls and I'm so blessed to have been able to play with them this year."
As for Padua, they have no shame in what has been a stellar season, beating top ranked team over and over again and being a force to be reckoned with in this tournament.
"Padua's a really good team. We had to play good defense against them and i think we did," said Ursuline head coach, Susan Heiss; who knew coming into the game what a juggernaut the Pandas had been all season. "It was just a good team effort tonight."