The St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) volleyball team is in the midst of an impressive turnaround. Just last season, the Seahawks finished in last place in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) and went a total of 0-9 in conference matches. On the year, they concluded with just three wins and twenty-three losses. However this season seems to be much different as the Seahawks already sit at an impressive 11-8 record (as of Sept. 30). The substantial improvement in the standings is in a large part due to a stretch in September where SMCM went 9-2. This span of games also included a six game win streak. One of the most well fought games during this stretch was the match against Eastern Mennonite University on Sept. 8.
The Seahawks fell behind early as they lost the first set 25-14. This did not deter them though and they fought back to win the second set 28-26. A win by Eastern Mennonite in the third set and a win by SMCM in the fourth set left the two teams tied heading into the decisive fifth set (while the first four sets are each played to twenty-five points (must win by two points), the fifth set is played to fifteen and is only played if the teams are tied). Back and forth scoring commenced, but the Seahawks were able to come out on top after a kill by first-year Taylor Wigglesworth. This 18-16 victory in set five gave SMCM the win. Sophomore Ellyse Sutliff, ‘21, led the attack with fifteen kills and 16.5 points, while sophomore Katie Agate, ‘21, anchored the serving with twenty-four assists, according to SMCM Athletics.
The first conference game of the year for SMCM was against Penn State Harrisburg on Sept. 22. This game was part of a tri-match, meaning that the Seahawks also played Cheyney University on the same day. The match against Penn State Harrisburg went to all five sets, however SMCM was unable to pull away at the end. Sutliff had ten kills and two block assists, senior Mia Griffiths, ‘19, had forty-one assists, thirteen digs, and four kills, and first year Chanel Lucas, ‘22, finished with ten kills, two digs, three blocks, and two block assists, according to SMCM Athletics.
So far on the season, the Seahawks are averaging just under eleven kills per set, ten assists per set, one block per set, and fifteen digs per set. Senior Meghan Kelley, ‘19, leads the squad with 178 kills on the year and Griffiths leads the team in assists thus far with 405. Defensively, senior Marissa Dangler, ‘19, has posted a team leading 242 digs (as of Sept. 30), according to SMCM Athletics.
SMCM is led by seniors Marissa Dangler, Mia Griffiths, Meghan Kelley, Hannah Krauss and Renee Wineke. Head coach Kelly Martin is now in her third season with the Seahawks.
After their game against Notre Dame of Maryland University on Oct. 2, the Seahawks will continue CAC play as they travel to Christopher Newport University on Oct. 5. They will then have just ten games remaining before the CAC tournament begins.