Saint Mark’s enters the 2022 volleyball season as winners of the last two state titles, so the target that is always on the champion’s back has just grown larger. The Spartans enter the season as Delaware Live Sports’ top-ranked team, but staying on top will not be easy.
Since 2010, there have been three back-to-back volleyball state champions, but the last streak longer than that was Ursuline’s three straight (and seven in eight years) from 2007-09.
Saint Mark’s graduated seven seniors from last year’s team, but they return senior hitter Julia Yurkovich, a player-of-the-year candidate. The other returning starter is libero Taylor Holly, a junior. The roster also includes a few freshmen.
As usual, they are taking on one of the more ambitious schedules in the state. Their 15 matches against 13 opponents includes just two that did not reach the state tournament last season. There is a four-match road trip near the end of the season, concluding at Padua, the team that has met Saint Mark’s for the state championship the last three years. The Spartans close, as usual, with Ursuline in the final game of the regular season in the state.
2021 season: 19-0, defeated Padua for state championship
SCHEDULE (Home games in CAPS)
Sept. 9: Brandywine, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 13: WILMINGOTN FRIENDS, 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 15: WILMINGTON CHARTER, 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 20: PADUA, 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 22: Red Lion, 5 p.m.
Sept. 27: Ursuline, 7:15
Sept. 29: St. Elizabeth, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 4: DELAWARE MILITARY, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 8: NEWARK CHARTER, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 11: SMYRNA, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 13: Appoquinimink, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 18: Archmere, 6 p.m.
Oct. 20: Middletown, 6 p.m.
Oct. 25: Padua, 7:15 p.m.
Oct. 29: URSULINE, 7 p.m.