High school volleyball: Esper sparks Bucs past Lions

High school volleyball: Esper sparks Bucs past Lions

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High school volleyball: Esper sparks Bucs past Lions

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Even though Sam Esper loves volleyball, she didn’t see the need to play a fourth game on Thursday night.

So the Caravel sophomore served out the final five points of the third game to send the Buccaneers past Red Lion Christian 3-0. The game scores were 25-11, 25-12 and 25-19.

“I just had confidence. Practice pays off, and I had confidence,” Esper said. “I knew my teammates would pull through in the end. … We just kept working hard, and it worked out.”

Caravel (5-3) won the first two games easily and built an 18-10 lead in the third game. But the Lions (6-3) didn’t give up, getting service winners from Shelby Belk and Gabriella DaPonte to score nine of the next 10 points and tie it at 19.

Devon Chew’s kill put the Buccaneers back in the lead. Esper took it from there, firing an ace and a service winner in a 5-0 run capped by Taylor Chew’s match-ending kill.

“Sam has been my most consistent player through the whole season,” Caravel coach Niki Buckland said. “We can always count on her, no matter what.”

Identical twin seniors Devon and Taylor Chew led the Buccaneers with seven kills each. Brittany Ford had three kills, four aces and six digs, and Codi Ziolkowski added two aces, three digs and 14 assists.

“We definitely got some hits down and did some blocking, and we did a good job,” Devon Chew said. “We did a lot of talking and bringing each other up. We try to be like one on the court.”

Belk led Red Lion with five kills and four assists. Colleen Whiteley had five kills and three digs, and DaPonte chipped in 12 assists. But the Lions were no match for the Chew sisters.

“This is my big year,” Taylor Chew said. “Finally, things are starting to come together. … Everyone is starting to click.”

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