St. Mary's Volleyball Stumbles at No. 13 Christopher Newport

Karlee Vaillant
Karlee Vaillant

Newport News, Va. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team faced a tough matchup against No. 13 Christopher Newport University Wednesday night, dropping a 3-0 Capital Athletic Conference decision to the nationally-ranked Captains.

"We faced a good Christopher Newport team tonight. Our team was able to pick up their intensity for short spurts but not enough to pull out a victory," said first-year head coach Jeremy Sands. "We had good moments with our serving and blocking while our team walked away knowing what it takes to play at the top level."

Christopher Newport (24-3, 6-0 CAC) posted set scores of 25-13, 25-16, 25-17 for its sixth consecutive win.

Junior middle hitter Karlee Vaillant (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) paced the Seahawks (13-8, 3-3 CAC) with eight kills and a .286 hitting percentage while fellow classmate Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton) was a step behind with seven kills at a .278 clip.

In the first set, St. Mary's opened up with a 4-1 lead before the Captains flipped the script and closed out the game on a 24-9 run. Sophomore middle blocker Hannah Miller (Palmyra, Va./Fluvanna County) and Vaillant each led their respective teams with a set-best three kills.

The Seahawks turned around a 2-0 deficit to a 4-3 lead but could not sustain the momentum as CNU responded with a 12-4 run to claim a seven-point lead. St. Mary's closed the gap to 16-13 on a kill by junior outside hitter Autumn Fisher (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) but would get no closer as the Captains tallied the 25-16 win.

It was a closer battle in the third set as the game featured four tied scores and two lead changes. The Seahawks turned around a 3-1 setback into a 9-8 lead before Christopher Newport used a 5-0 spurt for a 13-9 advantage. St. Mary's came back with a 5-1 run of its own to tie up the game at 14-14 but could not get over the hump.

Sophomore outside hitter Maddie McCann (Mathews, Va./Mathews) was the Captains' top hitter with match-bests of nine kills and a .474 hitting percentage while Miller finished with eight.

St. Mary's will hit the road once again for its next match, traveling to Washington, D.C. on Friday, October 24th and facing Gallaudet University (18-11) at 7:00 p.m. in a non-conference matchup.

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