By Jared Prenda
The Catholic University Women’s Volleyball team dominated the Washington College Shoreman in their win on Wednesday, September 21st. The Cardinals swept their opponents 3 sets to none in the home match. The victory improves their record on the season to 11-4 going into conference play.
Catholic got off to a slow start in the first set going down 6-2 early in the set, but a tenacious defensive effort quickly got the women back in the game to tie it at 6 all. After dropping another few points, the Cardinals began to control the set scoring 5 straight unanswered points, and would not give up that lead for the rest of the set. CUA ended up winning the set 25-19 and carried the momentum into the second set.
One player who has proven to be a key player off of the bench is freshman Maura McConnell. The defensive specialist has produced 11 serving aces on the season, and a team-leading 2 in the match Wednesday. On top of this, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native has contributed over 100 digs on the season.
McConnell was asked about how a strong pre-conference schedule has prepared the team.
“We played some tough games but they helped us learn a lot about each other and our style of play in those types of situations. It will definitely help us play together going into our first conference match when we face teams like that,” McConnell said.
The second set was much more trying for the Cardinals in their victory. After jumping out to a 4-2 lead, the women began to struggle in the match. The rest of the second set was dominated by the Shoreman gaining as much as a 5-point lead at 20-15. Catholic would prove resilient in the face of this adversity and fought their way to another set win by scoring 5 straight points. This major comeback proved to be a catalyst for the third set.
Junior setter Michelle Seals played a major role in the victory. The starter contributed 32 of the teams 33 assists as well as 10 digs. Seals is in her 3rd year as a starter and has proved to be crucial in the team’s efforts. In each of her years with the Catholic team she led the team in assists, scoring well above 1000 both prior seasons and already breaking the 500 mark this season.
“We try not to look at the score in a situation like that,” Seals said, “we try to look at it one point at a time and if someone does make a mistake we pick each other up and just focus on the next point. We don’t focus on ‘Oh my God we’re messing up, we just get over it and work for the next point.”
The third set sealed the deal for the Cardinals in their match leading into conference play. The set started with both teams trading blows but soon CUA would start to run away with it and eventually winning by 5 points, 25-20.
There were many outstanding players that proved to be major contributors in the Wednesday night sweep. One such player was senior middle hitter Kathryn Herrington, who had a team high 12 kills and added 3 blocks and 2 digs to her night. This game marked the final trial run before Landmark Conference play began, and the Cardinals are feeling strong coming off the 3-0 victory against Washington College as they head into their first game against the Moravian College Greyhounds, Saturday 24th.