It didn’t take Adam Stevenson long to gauge the progress of his St. Catharine College volleyball team. After losing in straight sets to IU-Southeast in the season’s first match, the Patriots encountered the same Grenadiers team last Tuesday in the fifth match of the early season. And while the result was still a loss, the 3-2 setback in New Albany, Ind. was s step in the right direction for the young SC team.
“Our lack of experience is an issue,” said Stevenson. “We are playing six freshmen who are getting introduced to the faster pace of the college game.”
The Patriots’ record went to 1-5 on Friday when they lost 3-1 on the road against a talented Asbury University team.
In Tuesday’s match it didn’t appear that the Patriots would get any more than three games experience as IUS (3-2) won the first two games 25-14, 25-23. But St. Catharine regrouped to win the third game 25-17 and forced the match to go the distance by winning the fourth game 25-14.
“I am happy with the way we fought back after losing that second set when we had a 23-21 lead,” added Stevenson.
But the Patriots couldn’t sustain the comeback and lost the decisive fifth game 15-12. That game was tied 8-8 but the Grenadiers scored the next three points and the Patriots never got closer than that three point deficit the rest of the way.
Allie Southard led the Patriots with 15 kills in hitting .308 for the match. Casey Stone hit for a .286 percentage with 10 kills. Rebecca Just had 13 kills.
St. Catharine enjoyed their best night defensively with 15 blocks. Southard led the way in that category with two solo blocks and seven block assists. Randa Murphy led the team in digs with 29 while Chelsea Wichman had 20.
“We showed signs of improvement which is encouraging,” concluded Stevenson.
Stevenson saw the same issues Friday when his team lost in four sets to Asbury. After losing the first two sets (25-21, 25-19) the Patriots rallied to win set three 26-24 before falling 25-23 in the fourth set.
“We were ahead in that last set but just couldn’t finish,” said Stevenson.
Southard and Stone each had 13 kills to lead the Patriots in hitting. Just had 21 digs and Murphy had 18 for the match.
The Patriots will travel to Houston, Texas this weekend to play five matches. They are back at home Sept. 5 for the Mid-South Conference opener against Georgetown College.