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Special to The Sun
It would be safe to say that two volleyball teams couldn’t be more evenly matched that those from West Virginia Tech and St. Catharine College. The two squads played two Mid-South Conference matches at St. Catharine Saturday and each won one. And both matches went all five games as the two teams battled to get their first wins of the season.
“Experience-wise, they are as much like us as any team we will play,” said St. Catharine College coach Juanita Mangan. “It did help to have Sam Gehler (out for the last two weeks with an ankle injury) back in the lineup but we were still a little weakened with Shay (Mangan) playing with pneumonia.”
In the first match against West Virginia Tech the patriots won the first game 25-22 but dropped the second game 21-25. They eeked out a 25-23 win in game three after trailing 22-19 but lost the fourth game 25-19. In the decisive fifth game St. Catharine won 15-9. Mangan’s kill was the winning point in the contest after strong serves from Brittini Schmidt allowed the Patriots to pull away late in the game.
Tech took a 2-0 lead in the second match by winning game one 28-26 and game two 25-18. But the Patriots stormed back to win the next two games by scores of 25-12 and 25-18. But they couldn’t maintain the momentum as the visitors took the fifth game 15-10.
And if those two, five-game matches weren’t enough in the Lourdes Hall sauna, the Patriots played one more match in the day against Oakland City University (Indiana). With little left in the tank, the Patriots succumbed to the Mighty Oaks 3-0 by scores of 25-13, 25-9, 25-13.
Earlier last week St. Catharine lost road games at Midway College on Tuesday and Brescia University on Thursday. At Midway the Patriots won the first game but lost the next three for the 3-1 final decision. Thursday they fell 3-0 at Brescia.
St. Catharine now stands at 1-16 for the year but Mangan still feels that her team can still be a factor in the Mid-South Conference. “The match at Cumberlands (played Tuesday) will be a real barometer of where we stand in the conference,” she said. “If we play well we have a chance to win which could help put us in the top four in the conference.”
Following the game at Cumberlands last night the Patriots will be on the road at Asbury Saturday to play Asbury and St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Tuesday they play a MSC match at Pikeville and next Wednesday they are back home for another conference match against Lindsey Wilson.