NEWARK — Earlier this week I wrote about the abundance of high school volleyball available to watch this week in Delaware, including tonight’s matchup of the top two teams in the state, St. Mark’s and Padua (7 p.m. at Padua, but get there early). I shouldn’t forget the University of Delaware squad, which has rebounded from a tough start and is making noise in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Blue Hens, a squad heavy on youth, started the season 3-11 but have won five straight, including matches at UNC Wilmington and William & Mary. Only UNCW was not a 3-0 sweep, as the match went five sets. They are 3-1 in the CAA.
Two players have received conference honors for the week. Senior Chelsea Lawrence was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Week, and Ariel Shonk is the Rookie of the Week.
Lawrence, a 6-1 middle hitter, totaled 24 total blocks in three wins. She had a season-high nine blocks against Delaware State, but upped that to 13 in the next match, a five-set win over UNC Wilmington. That was the highest total for a Blue Hen since 2010 and just two shy of a school record. She also had 21 kills and hit a team-best .283 for the week.
Shonk, a 5-9 libero, was honored for the second straight week, having been the CAA Player of the Week previously. She recorded 63 digs to lead the conference, including 29 vs. UNCW. She ranks second in the conference with 356 total.
The team returns to action on the road this weekend, taking on James Madison Friday and George Mason on Saturday. Both begin at 7 p.m.
The Blue Hens return home next week for three matches. Villanova visits on Wednesday, followed by a pair of CAA matches over the weekend. Northeastern visits on Friday night at 7 p.m., with blue Delaware volleyball t-shirts being given to the first 250 fans at the Bob Carpenter Center. All fans are encouraged to wear UD blue to the event.
In addition, Friday is faculty/staff appreciation night. University faculty and staff members wearing blue can receive up to four $1 tickets by going to the ticket office in person on game day. Friday is also Family Fun Friday; a $15 package includes two adult and two youth tickets. Those must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance at the Delaware ticket office in the Bob Carpenter Center, or by calling (302) 831-2257.
The homestand continues Saturday when the Blue Hens welcome Hofstra at 8 p.m. A ticket stub from that afternoon’s UD football game vs. Rhode Island is good for admission. Saturday is also Girls Night Out, and all females will be admitted for $1. These tickets are available on game day only. The first 100 females will receive UD spirit beads, and there will be raffles for spa packages and ladies’ only promotions.
For more information, visit the UD athletics website.