The No. 8 Arundel Girls’ volleyball team traveled to No. 18 St. Paul’s School for Girls Tuesday afternoon in its final preparations for its 2010 league schedule, and the Wildcats came away with a win in four sets – 25-14, 20-25, 25-13 and 29-27.

“We had some really strong points and some slower points,” said Arundel head coach Ashley Yuscavage. “But I think, for the beginning of the season, this is a great place to be.”

Prior to the fourth set, the Wildcats had used pin-point serving and powerful spikes to wear away at the smaller Gator squad, beating them in sets one and three, but the home court girls were not ready to concede.

Hanging with their foes in what proved to be the final game of the match, the Gators shared the lead with the ‘Cats three times and never trailed by more than four points.  With the useful serving of Melanie Blank and the blocking skills of Kabria Haskins, St. Paul’s worked its way from a 20-16 deficit into a 21-21 tie with Arundel.

The Wildcats pushed back in front by two, by SPSG continued to fight for survival and forged another tie at 23-23.  The Gators then moved to brink of forcing a fifth game on three times, as they led 24-23, 25-24 and 27-26.

Lindsey EderheimerArundel had other plans, however, and rallied off a Hannah Rehak and Allie Orr block and numerous close shots before watching Allie Winslow set a ball to Ashlyn Tapley to drive it home the victory.

“I just wanted to put the ball away and win the game,” Tapley explained.  “We had the games, so I just had to put it away.”

Despite dropping the first game by more than 10 points, the Gators rallied back in the second set to a five-point win over the ‘Cats.

Leading 23-20, St. Paul’s Hailey Fitzgerald worked an ace and a non-returnable serve to the Arundel side, clinching the only set won by the Gators.

“We made some lineup changes, and the passes just weren’t where they needed to be,” Yuscavage said when explaining the difference in the second set.

Arundel is on its way to a terrific 2010 season and will host Huntingtown next Tuesday, while St. Paul’s will take to its next out-of-conference game at C. Milton Wright High School this Friday.

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