Towson, Md. – Junior captain Autumn Fisher (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) dropped a season-best nine kills in leading the St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team to their third consecutive 3-0 win, shutting out host Goucher College Friday night.
First-year head coach Jeremy Sands said of his team's play, "Team played really tonight behind some strong contributions from Emily Scott and Jen Staab. I'm glad that the team could stay focused while trying some new offense."
The Seahawks (4-2) opened up the match with a 25-23 win behind error-free play by Fisher, who had five kills, and junior right side Jennifer Staab (Cockeysville, Md./Notre Dame), who added a pair. Trailing for most of the first set, a pair of Goucher errors and four straight SMCM kills, including three by Fisher, turned around a 21-18 deficit into a 23-21 Seahawk advantage.
Goucher (4-6) responded with two consecutive points to knot it up before Fisher's fifth kill of the set helped to close the deal and give her team a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, St. Mary's posted a 25-20 victory as the squad never trailed. The Gophers tied up the set three times but could not sustain a run long enough to claim the lead. Juniors Emily Scott (Montgomery Village, Md./Covenant Life) and Karlee Vaillant (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) combined for seven kills in the win.
A balanced attack in the final set guided the Seahawks to a 25-17 triumph. St. Mary's fell behind early but used a 12-4 to turn the tables in its favor and own an 18-11 advantage. Gopher came within 20-17 on a kill by first-year Kelly Budge (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley Old Tappan) before wrapping up the match with a 5-0 run on the strength of sophomore Mimi Graf's (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) serve.
Junior setter Grace Chao (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) had the Seahawk offense rolling with a career-high 27 assists while adding six digs. Vaillant finished the night with seven kills and three block assists while junior middle hitter Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton) dominated at the net with three block solos and a pair of block assists and adding six kills as well.
Scott and sophomore libero Carissa Hill (Lanham, Md./Pallotti) each tallied a match-best 11 digs to pace the defensive effort while Scott contributed five kills on offense.
St. Mary's will be back at it tomorrow afternoon as the Seahawks take on host Stevenson University and Franklin & Marshall College in a tri-match in Owings Mills, Md. SMCM will see F & M first at 12:00 pm before facing Stevenson at 2:00 pm.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMVB, #SeahawkAthletics