MILLTOWN — The Saint Mark’s volleyball team continued its hot start to the 2019 season, picking up its fourth sweep in five matches. The opponent on Sept. 19 was Catholic Conference foe St. Elizabeth, whom the Spartans dispatched by scores of 25-4, 25-7 and 25-11.
Playing in front of another large, enthusiastic student section, the Spartans came out hot and did not let up. Katie Sonchen started on the serve, and before she gave up the ball, Saint Mark’s held a 10-0 lead. That run included two big slams by Julia Yurkovich and one Sonchen ace. The Vikings were playing well on defense, but the Spartans’ hitters were overwhelming.
Savannah Seemans had a quiet start for Saint Mark’s, but she made her presence known late in the set. She scored on three straight kill attempts and added one more before the set ended on a Spartans block.
The Spartans began the second set with a 10-0 run, three of those points coming on Seemans blasts and two others on aces by Samantha Gerhart. Serena Pluta continued her strong play this season, scoring in a variety of ways. Twice, she sent strategically placed dinks to the floor. Another time, she smashed a ball to the ground. And as the set neared its end, she provided the play of the night. Pluta, a middle, chased an errant ball hard to her right as it headed toward the first row of the bleachers. She took a swing with her right arm and sent the ball back over the net. Saint Mark’s would eventually win the point on a hitting error. Brooke Dow’s push kill ended the set.
St. Elizabeth hung with the Spartans for the first part of the final set. They trailed, 3-1, before going on a three-point run, capped by an ace from Laura Jezyk for their only lead of the night. Kills by Dow and Caroline Detrick restored the Spartans’ lead, but an unforced error tied the score one more time at 5-5. The Spartans would score 10 of the next 11 points, however.
They scored six consecutively, the final one coming on a kill from Abbey Thibodeau, who has missed most of this season with an injury. Reena Robinson and Ashley Campbell teamed up for a block for the Vikings to stop that run, but a four-point Saint Mark’s streak followed. The last two points of that were courtesy of Seemans aces. The match ended on a hitting error.
For the Spartans (5-0), Seemans had 13 kills, while Thibodeau, Dow and Detrick each had four. They will host Archmere on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. before beginning a four-match road trip.
Final statistics were not available for the Vikings, who fell to 2-3. They travel to Wilmington Christian on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. start.