A.I. du Pont won the first two sets against host Archmere Wednesday night but saw its two-game lead evaporate as the Auks won games three and four to force a decisive fifth game.
The fourth-ranked Tigers proved to be just as resilient as Archmere was, winning the final game by 10 points and win the match 3-2 (25-20, 25-13, 17-25, 20-25, 15-5) in a nonconference volleyball match.
“I think we let all we had go, and we played as a team. We let all the mistakes we made in the previous two games go,” senior outside hitter Courtney MacDonald said.
“We fixed our errors and played great volleyball in the final game. I love our team for that.”
When matches go to a deciding set, the team who won the game before usually has all of the momentum, and the Auks (5-3) had double momentum after winning the previous two frames by a combined 12 points to get to that point.
The teams exchanged the first six points in the final game, but A.I. (7-1) took control of the frame with a 10-1 run to put the Tigers just two points away from victory. Two huge blocks by the A.I. front line highlighted the run.
“I think those two blocks were very critical when it came down to those last couple of points,” said the Tigers’ Alexandra Lugar, who had 22 kills. “It got our team back on track and ready to play.”
The game got to a fifth game because of a strong rally by Archmere in the third and fourth games after not leading at any point in the first two sets. The third game featured eight ties and five lead changes before the Auks went on a 6-0 run to build an 18-12 lead and cruise to a seven-point victory.
The fourth game played out the same way as the third, with Archmere holding a one-point lead at 20-19, heading into the final stretch, before the Auks closed the game on a 6-1 run to send the game into the final frame.
“We have lost these kinds of games before, and this year, I think it’s finally changed,” said MacDonald, who had 22 kills and 21 digs. “We’re at a place where we want to be, and it feels amazing to beat one of these teams.”