Watch eighth-year head coach Morris Davis' post-match interview here
St. Mary's City, Md. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team kicked off the 2011 campaign with a bang as the Seahawks swept regional power, Franklin & Marshall College, Friday night. The win was the first over the Diplomats in head coach Morris Davis' eight-year tenure, snapping a five-match losing skid against F&M.
Junior right-side hitter Shelby Mullennix (California, Md./Leonardtown) paced the Seahawks (1-0) in the non-conference win with 12 kills while junior outside hitter Cecilia Blanc (Gaithersburg, Md./Poolesville) and sophomore setter Elaina Straub (Burtonsville, Md./Poolesville) tallied 14 digs apiece.
The first set was neck-in-neck as the set featured seven tied scores and three lead changes. Blanc broke a 10-10 draw and then led St. Mary's (1-0) in an 11-0 run as the Diplomats (0-1) found it difficult to handle her serve. Behind Blanc's strong service and five kills each from Mullennix and sophomore middle blocker Michelle Klima (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial), the Seahawks captured the first set, 25-12.
The start of the second set was close yet again until the Seahawks began to pull away with a 10-3 run to break an 8-8 draw. Franklin & Marshall climbed back into the game with a 6-2 spurt to come within 20-17 but St. Mary's hung on for the 25-21 win. Mullennix and Klima combined for seven kills in the triumph.
A 7-2 run by St. Mary's midway through the third set forced the Diplomats to call back-to-back timeouts as F&M coach Mary Kate Boland look to slow down the Seahawks' momentum. The Diplomats regrouped pulled within 22-20 but a pair attack errors sealed their fate and St. Mary's picked up another 25-21 victory.
Straub added 30 assists and two service aces while sophomore libero Bianca Livioco (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) picked up 11 digs.
The Seahawks will be back in action tomorrow as St. Mary's takes on Randolph-Macon College at 1:00 pm before facing North Carolina Wesleyan College at 3:00 pm.