The St. Catharine College Patriots Volleyball program (1-0, 0-0 MSC) got their season opening jitters out of the way Tuesday night as they defeated the Midway College Eagles (0-1, 0-0 KIAC) in three sets.
“It’s good to finally put the game uniforms on and perform in front of your home crowd” says Patriot head coach Jason McDannold. The Patriots were able to jump on the Eagles late in the first set when Rebekah Sams (Lexington, KY) went on a 12-1 serving run to eventually win the set 25-7. “Reba was huge during that first set, anytime that you can keep the ball on your side of the net it is a good thing” says McDannold. During the third set of the night Sams proved that she wasn’t done with long runs when she went on a 15-1 scoring run that led to a 25-8 decisive victory.
For most of the night the Patriots were able to go on long runs and keep the Eagles off the offensive side of the ball, but the second set became a challenge when the Eagles were able to keep pace with the Patriots forcing a timeout with the score 18-12. “The second set was an eye opener for us” says McDannold. “It really showed some weaknesses in our defense and let our kids know that we are not there just yet. Our defense has to be better and more consistent for us to compete within the conference.” After the timeout the Patriots rattled off a 7-5 run that was highlighted by a game winning block by Shauna Stone (Bardstown, KY) to win the match 25-17.
“Our upper classman really helped us pull through adversity and win tonight” stated Mcdannold. “Randa [Murphy] was huge for us in the back row and really kept us in matches.” Murphy (Greensburg, KY), the lone senior on the team, led the Patriots in digs with 7, all of which were highlighted by a very athletic “pancake dig” in the second set. Assisting Murphy in the back row, Jodie Klein (Louisville, KY) contributed 5 digs for the Patriots’ defensive effort. Offensively the Patriot setters had a great night nailing 35 of their 55 sets with only 1 error. “Abbey [Sorrells] (Elizabethtown, KY) and Chelsea [Wichman] (Clayton, IN) really showed up tonight for our hitters” says McDannold. “Their effort allowed our front row to shine with their 33 kills.” The Patriots’ front row was led by sophomore Rebecca Just (Louisville, KY) and her 8 kills, followed by Cat Hall (Louisville, KY) with 7, Casey Stone (Princeton, KY) with 6, and Allie Southard (Louisville, KY) with 6.
The Patriots will hit the road this weekend and head to the University of Michigan-Dearborn invitational tournament for a total of 5 games. The Patriots will return home Tuesday, August 27 at 7 PM for their Mid-South Conference opener against the Rams of Bluefield College.