Padua's Jessica Molen, Michelle Kozicki, and Mackenzie Sobczyk combined for 31 kills as the Pandas swept defending champion Wilmington Charter in 3 sets to open their 2019 season.
Padua won the opening set 25-18, but it was tight in the second set, with the Force serving at 19-20, but a service error sparked a 5-0 run for Padua, and Molen's kill finished off a 25-20 set victory, putting the Pandas in control on the road.
The Force defense was forced to keep tabs on plenty of angles throughout the match, as Padua setter Ireland Giaquinto had her choice of powerful hitters, with Sobczyk and Kozicki holding down the middle hitter position, opening up for big swings on the outside from Molen, Jacqueline Barnett, and others.
Padua would race out to a 9-3 lead after Molen recorded a pair of aces.
Charter's Anjali Vishwanathan threw her only block of the match midway through the set to get the Force back within 4 points, but the Pandas' offensive variety, and solid defense led by Sarah Pritchard's 21 digs, including a nice 3rd set pancake, ended up being the pathway to a 25-12 set victory, and a sweep.
Sobczyk and Kozicki each had 4 of Padua's 12 blocks, as they improved to 1-0 on the season. They'll hold their home opener Thursday evening against Wilmington Friends at 5:30 p.m.
Isabel Luger led Wilmington Charter with 9 kills. The Force (2-1) open up DSAC play on Thursday at First State Military Academy.