St. Mary's City, Md. – First-year head coach Jeremy Sands went 1-1 in his Seahawk coaching debut as the St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team opened up the 2014 campaign at their own Seahawk Invitational. The Seahawks dropped a 3-1 decision to Shenandoah University before rebounding with a 3-0 win over Dickinson College Saturday afternoon.
Shenandoah (2-0) was crowned the tournament champion following its 3-0 win over Dickinson (0-2) while SU's first-year libero Brandi Griffith (Winchester, Va./James Wood) picked up MVP and All-Tournament Team honors.
Joining Griffith on the All-Tournament Team were fellow teammate, sophomore setter Rachel Cerretani (Front Royal, Va./Warren County); St. Mary's junior middle hitter Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton) and sophomore Mimi Graf (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck); and Dickinson's junior outside hitter Emily Smith (Victor, N.Y./Victor) and junior setter Jenn Morrissey (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel).
Goodspeed paced the Seahawks (1-1) in the four-set loss to Shenandoah with 13 kills and four block assists while first-year Brigid Morris (Bethesda, Md.) added 11 kills and four block assists in her collegiate debut. Graf tallied a double-double on 13 assists and 11 digs while junior setter Grace Chao (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) matched her career-best of 24 assists.
Junior middle hitter Karlee Vaillant (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) was tough at the net as Vaillant threw down one block solo and seven block assists as well as grabbing nine digs. As a team, St. Mary's totaled 13.0 team blocks against Shenandoah and picked up a 25-20 win in the second set to even the match at 1-1. The Hornets won the next two, 25-21, 25-15 for their first victory of the season.
A balanced attack lifted St. Mary's to its 25-23, 25-22, 25-11 win over Dickinson. Graf posted team-bests of nine kills, 15 assists, and nine digs to pace the Seahawks in victory. Senior Jenahye' Johnson (Randallstown, Md./Seton Keough) came off the bench to equal her career-best with eight kills while adding a block solo and two block assists.
Chao picked up 15 assists to bring her opening day total to 39 while sophomore libero Carissa Hill (Lanham, Md./Pallotti) served up four aces. As a team, the Seahawks hit .227 and notched 12 aces.
St. Mary's will be back in action down in San Juan, Puerto Rico from September 4-7.
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