MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s kicked off its 2020 volleyball campaign with a loss in the first set to Delaware Military Academy. That Spartans, however, made a few corrections after the set and hit their stride in a 3-1 victory Oct. 22 at Saint Mark’s. Set scores were 23-25, 25-11, 25-12, and 25-18.
The Spartans jumped out to a 4-0 lead out of the gate before Mackenna Van Horn blasted one through the wall to put the Seahawks on the board. They trailed, 5-2, before Kaylee Longueira took over the serve. The junior libero showed she has more to her game than back-line defense. She served nine straight winning points, handcuffing the Spartans time and time again as the lead grew.
But Saint Mark’s, battled back, eventually taking a 22-21 lead on a block by Nicole Dimiris. DMA closed it out, however, with four of the final five points.
Beginning with the second set, the Spartans improved their service receiving game, and Sam Gerhart anchored an impressive run midway through the helped put the set out of reach. Up front, Dimiris was joined by teammates Mya Lewis, Caroline Detrick and the Dow sisters, Kyla and Brooke, in setting up a stone wall at the net, picking up a number of points on blocks and frustrating the Seahawks’ hitters.
The third set began in much the same fashion as the first, with the Spartans taking an early 4-0 lead that included a tip kill by Julia Yurkovich and an ace from Kyla Dow. Gerhart delivered three aces a bit later, stretching the lead to 15-5. The set ended with another Dimiris block.
The Seahawks kept the fourth set close most of the way. They trailed, 19-12, before scoring three straight, the final point coming on a lock from Riley Sullivan. Lewis ended that run with a smash down the middle, and she added a block to help the Spartans close it out.
Lewis and Yurkovich each had 11 kills for the Spartans (1-0). Gerhart had five aces, and the team combined for 19 blocks. Dimirish led in that category with six. Saint Mark’s is on the road Saturday at Appoquinimink at 1 p.m.
For the Seahawks (1-1), Van Horn led with 11 kills, while Sullivan had nine. DMA plays next on Tuesday at home against Archmere. The action begins at 5:30 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.