San Juan, P.R. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland volleyball team won two and lost one during their weekend trip to Puerto Rico on September 5-6. The Seahawks (3-2) opened up with a 3-1 loss to Eastern University on Friday, September 5th before notching a pair of 3-0 victories over Bayamón Central University and American University of Puerto Rico the following day.
"Our team had a phenomenal trip to Puerto Rico. We faced one of the top tier teams in Puerto Rico when we played UNE on Friday night and competed well. We lost 3-1 but the competition and high level of play really helped develop our team and prepared us for playing the best teams in our conference," stated first-year head coach Jeremy Sands.
Junior middle hitter Mandy Goodspeed (Columbia, Md./Atholton) paced the Seahawks in the loss to Eastern with six kills while fellow classmate Karlee Vaillant (Arnold, Md./Broadneck) added five. Junior setter Grace Chao (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) aided the cause with eight assists.
Sands continued, "Today, we finished strong with two 3-0 victories against two very good ball control and defensive-minded teams in Bayamón Central and American. I am very proud of how well we stayed focused and fought through some intense rallies and serves from our competition. This trip is really going to pay off and it will show once we get to our tough conference schedule. Our serving game really increased throughout the weekend as we gained confidence in serving tough."
Goodspeed tallied seven kills and hit at a .308 clip in the sweep of Bayamón Central (25-16, 25-15, 25-17) while first-year Brigid Morris (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) contributed five. Chao and sophomore Mimi Graf (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) combined for 24 assists while Chao had four service aces. At the net, Morris picked up a season-best four solo blocks.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior captain Autumn Fisher (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown), sophomore libero Carissa Hill (Lanham, Md./Pallotti), and junior outside hitter Mollie Johnson (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) each notched eight digs.
In the win over American (25-22, 25-17, 25-16), Goodspeed recorded nine kills while Graf and Vaillant each posted eight. Chao (18) and Graf (13) totaled 31 assists while Chao and sophomore Meghan Griffiths (Hughesville, Md./La Plata) each served up four aces. Defensively, Chao and Hill each collected eight digs.
St. Mary's will be back in action on Friday, September 12th when the Seahawks travel to Towson, Maryland to take on Goucher College at 7:30 p.m.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMVB, #SeahawkAthletics