The St. Catharine College volleyball team is off to its best start in school history as Jason McDannold’s squad has opened the season with a 9-1 mark. The only blemish on that record came in the final match of the Embry-Riddle Labor Day Tournament where they lost to Taylor University in five sets.
The Patriots, however, got back to their winning ways Wednesday when they won 3-1 at the University of the Cumberlands in the Mid-South Conference opener. That win came after St. Catharine lost the opening set 25-23.
“We came out flat,” said McDannold. “We can’t afford to do that, especially in conference matches when you’re going to get the best effort from every team.”
But it didn’t take long for the Patriots to regroup, winning the next three sets 25-19, 25-16 and 25-20.
Shauna Stone (Bardstown, Ky.) led the victory with 12 kills as the senior hitter hit for a sparkling .500. Casey Stone (Princeton, Ky.) and Rebecca just (Louisville, Ky.) each had 10 kills in the match. Jordan Strickland (Lexington, Ky.) continued her excellent play as the setter with 45 assists to go along with four kills and two blocks.
At the Labor Day tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., St. Catharine was victorious in their first three matches, dropping only one set along the way. They topped Montreat University 3-0, Warner College 3-0 and Bryan College 3-1.
The first loss of the early season came in the last match of the weekend as the Taylor University Trojans (8-1) edged the Patriots 3-2. St. Catharine won the first set 25-17 but dropped the next two 25-19, 25-16. The patriots evened the match by winning set four 25-19 but fell in the fifth set 15-11.
“They (Taylor) have a good team but we didn’t play as well as we had been,” added McDannold.
The Patriots continue on the tournament trail Friday when they play in the Rumpke Invitational at Georgetown, Ky. The action begins at 2:45 against Marian University. Later Friday they take on Grace College and Saturday they take on Olivet Nazarene University and Bryan College.