The St. Catharine volleyball team opened their season on Saturday with a straight set victory over Mid-Continent University. The match was played at Caldwell County Middle School in Princeton, Ky.
The Patriots got off to a slow start, with four freshmen in the starting lineup and let the Cougars build a 7-1 lead early in the first set. The young Patriots, however, would not go away, battling back to tie the set at 9-9. Feeding off the energy of the local favorites, Casey Stone, Samm Jones, and Mandy Gray who are all from Princeton, St. Catharine closed the set by scoring 14 of the final 21 points in the game, taking it 25-21.
The Patriots would build on that momentum early in the second set. Freshmen setter Charlotte Jewell would lead the Patriots with 12 consecutive serves and recorded three aces. The newly energized team also received a lift in their attacking game as a senior newcomer Porsha Ellison hit for a .571 average in the second set. St. Catharine took the set 25-16.
The teams battled evenly through the opening points of the third set, before St. Catharine was able to open up a four point edge at 14-10. The Patriots ended the match with another six point run, en route to the win, taking the set 25-16, and the match 3-0.
St. Catharine got a double-double effort from Charlotte Jewell, who posted 24 assists and 20 digs in the match. Porsha Ellison led the team with 12 kills and 2.5 blocks. In front of their hometown fans Casey Stone, Samm Jones and Mandy Gray combined for a great effort with 13 kills, six assists, 19 digs, and four blocks.
Adam Stevenson, second year coach of the Patriots, was relieved to see his young team start the season with a good performance. “Our freshmen started slowly but picked it up later in the match. That is good to see because the game at this level is so much faster than what they played in high school. And we got good leadership from our experienced players.”