St. Mary's City, Md. – After a month on the road, the St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team returned home to open up Capital Athletic Conference play Wednesday night against Southern Virginia University. The Seahawks (9-6, 0-1 CAC) battled hard but errors sabotaged their efforts and St. Mary's dropped a 3-1 decision to Southern Virginia (12-6, 1-0 CAC).
Tonight's loss snapped a four-match win streak for the home team while the victory extended the Knights' win streak to three matches.
Junior middle hitter Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton) paced the Seahawks in the loss with a season-best 16 kills and three total blocks (1 solo, 2 assists) while junior captain Autumn Fisher (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) and first-year Brigid Morris (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) each added nine kills. Morris contributed four total blocks (1 solo, 3 assists) as well.
Southern Virginia picked up a 25-15 win in the first set. It started off close with four tied scores and three lead changes but the Knights used a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead for good and rolled to their biggest advantage of 21-11. First-year Vanessa Pawlak (Carthage, Mo./Carthage) led Southern Virginia to the win with eight kills.
In the second set, the Knights posted a 25-20 win. St. Mary's tied the score twice but never gained an advantage. Pawlak notched four kills while senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Eaton (Syracuse, Utah/Central Wyoming College) added three.
St. Mary's flipped the script in the third with a 25-20 triumph to force a fourth set. Goodspeed and Fisher both posted a .500 hitting percentage as Goodspeed tallied five kills and Fisher had four. As a team, the Seahawks hit .260 for the set, which was their highest attack percentage of the evening. St. Mary's never trailed as the Knights just tied the score once at 5-5.
It was all Southern Virginia in the final set as the Knights opened up with an 8-1 run and never looked back. The Seahawks closed the gap to 9-4 but would get no closer. Eaton led the way with six kills.
Sophomore Mimi Graf (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) dished 24 assists while junior setter Grace Chao (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) came up with 21 while Graf totaled seven kills and 10 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore libero Carissa Hill (Lanham, Md./Pallotti) led the defense once again with 19 digs while Fisher added 10 as she finished one kill shy of a double-double.
Eaton was the offensive leader for the Knights with a match-best 18 kills while Pawlak recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 12 digs.
St. Mary's hits the road again for its next match, traveling to the Eastern Shore to take on Salisbury University (14-6, 0-1 CAC) in another CAC tilt on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00 p.m.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMVB, #SeahawkAthletics