The women’s volleyball team closes out a strong season after losing to the No. 1 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament, the University of Mary Washington. The team finished the year off with a record of 14-18.
Head coach Kelly Martin finished off her third year at the helm of the Seahawks program. Although the ultimate goal of a CAC championship was not accomplished, the Lady Seahawks proved that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. After finishing the 2017 season with a 3-23 record and going 0-9 in conference play, this year gave them something to build off of.
When speaking of the 2018 season, senior captain Hannah Krauss said, “This season was a big improvement from the last, not only record-wise, but culture-wise as well.” She goes on to state, “This year we focused a lot on our team culture and a championship mentality, which I think really elevated our competitiveness.”
After a stellar season, two-time team captain and senior Marissa Dangler was awarded second team All-CAC. This honor comes off the heels of an impressive 2018 campaign for Dangler. She was a steady force for the Seahawks, playing in 30 sets and serving as a veteran leader and a figure for her teammates to look up to.
When reminiscing on her time here on the volleyball team Dangler states, “My experience as a St. Mary’s volleyball player has definitely been a memorable one. I was able to gain an abundant amount of friendships that I will carry on with me after college.” The volleyball team had an obvious bond that they will try to hold together after the loss of five seniors who all were key members of the Seahawk program.
This season, the Seahawks showed a sense of grittiness that was unmatched. They forced their way into a 5th set in 8 matches this season, demonstrating the amount of fight that the team embodied.
Coach Martin was able to motivate her players to compete coming off of a down year. Krauss had high praise of coach Martin stating, “I owe Kelly Martin a lot as far as who I am as a person and volleyball player. She’s not only a coach, but also a mentor who strives to help her players become strong women…her impact will definitely follow me after college.” Dangler also strongly backed her coach saying, “Coach Martin helped me become a leader that I never knew I had within myself. She not only provided me with the skills needed to play on the court but also wisdom.”
With the Seahawks in the hands of Coach Martin for years to come, they are sure to be headed in the right direction. This season was an example of the stepping stones that the volleyball team is making in their return as a perennial powerhouse in the CAC.
Dangler is grateful for the opportunity she has had here at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and wants to remind her teammates to never take their time on the court for granted. She states, “Never take these four years for granted because you do not want to look back and say, ‘I should have… you want to be able to look back and say, ‘I have accomplished all that I set out to accomplish.’”
The Seahawks are already looking towards the 2019 season with determination to continue building off of this successful season. The team has a lot of success ahead of them and this season was only a preview for all the accomplishments that lie ahead.