St. Mary's City, Md. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team suffered back-to-back losses Saturday afternoon as the Seahawks dropped a 3-1 decision to Stevenson University in Capital Athletic Conference action before Pennsylvania State University Altoona handed St. Mary's a 3-2 loss.
Stevenson (11-1, 2-0 CAC) opened up with a 6-0 run and never looked back as the Mustangs posted 25-8 and 25-5 victories in the first two sets. The Seahawks (2-9, 0-2 CAC) came alive in the third set and led by eight on three different occasions, including 23-15, before having to hold off a late Stevenson rally for the 25-23 win to force a fourth set.
Senior middle blocker Gena Hlavinka (Gaithersburg, Md./T.S. Wootton) picked up four kills and two service aces in the third set win. St. Mary's tied the fourth set twice before the Mustangs headed to a 25-17 triumph for the match win.
Hlavinka paced the Seahawk offense against Stevenson with nine kills and two aces while junior right-side hitter Shelby Mullennix (California, Md./Leonardtown) added eight kills. Defensively, four Seahawks notched double-digit digs as junior outside hitter Cecilia Blanc (Gaithersburg, Md./Poolesville) tallied a team-best 14 while contributing six kills and two aces as well.
The match against Penn State Altoona (5-5) was back-and-forth from the first set. The Seahawks used a balanced effort to break a 20-20 draw and score five straight for a 25-20 win in the first set. Penn State Altoona started the second set with a 3-0 jump en route to tying up the match at 1-all with a 25-17 victory.
The Lady Lions continued its winning ways with a 25-21 triumph in the third set to take a 2-1 lead as senior outside hitter Samantha Link (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria) fired off seven kills. St. Mary's rebounded with a 25-18 win in the fourth behind a 4-0 start and seven kills by Hlavinka, forcing the fifth and decisive set.
In the fifth set, the two teams were neck-in-neck as the set featured eight tied scores and four lead changes. The Lady Lions finally broke free with a 4-0 run to boast a 14-10 margin before kills by Hlavinka and Mullennix pulled St. Mary's within two. Penn State Altoona recorded a kill in the next play to seal its 3-2 win.
Hlavinka matched her season-best with 17 kills while Blanc posted her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and 18 digs. Sophomore setter Rachel Wilson (Damascus, Md./Damascus) contributed a career-best 42 assists and 14 digs.
The Seahawks hope to snap their four-match losing streak on Wednesday, September 21 when St. Mary's travels to Fredericksburg, Va. to take on University of Mary Washington in conference play at 7:00 pm.