WILMINGTON — Saint Mark’s swept St. Elizabeth in Catholic Conference on Oct. 3, but the match at the St. E Center was much different that the first meeting last month at Saint Mark’s. The set scores were 25-8, 25-23 and 25-13, but the match was more intense that those scores might indicate.
The teams went back and forth on the first point of the game, with the Vikings taking their only lead of the first on a hitting error by the Spartans. After that, Saint Mark’s scored five straight, getting kills from Mya Lewis, Savannah Seemans, Brooke Dow and Katie Sonchen, who went over on two after St. Elizabeth threw up some great defense against the powerful Saint Mark’s hitters.
The Spartans gained some more breathing room with small runs, and they put it away with an eight-point run that started on a Vikings service error. During that streak, Dow and Seemans each had two kills, while Sam Gerhart delivered an ace. Sonchen ended the set with another ace.
St. Elizabeth regrouped, and the two teams put on a performance in the second set that had the building abuzz. The Vikings were even early on, but consecutive aces from Lewis gave the Spartans their first lead at 5-4. Long rallies featuring outstanding digs and a few sprawling saves were the order of the set. The Spartans took a 10-6 lead, but a kill from Amanda Doherty and two Spartans unforced errors turned that into a 10-9 score.
Saint Mark’s threatened to run away with it a few points later, extending their advantage to six at 16-10, but a well-placed timeout turned the tide. Diamond Wilson threw one straight down, and the Vikings scored on a hitting error. Back-to-back aces off the right arm of Rachel Vivolo cut the lead to 16-14.
The Vikings finally tied the set at 19, but Seemans restored the Spartans’ lead with a blast, only to see Reena Robinson tie it back up with a powerful swing of her own. The final tie came at 21-21 before Julia Yurkovich bombed a ball down the left side for Saint Mark’s. A Seemans tap sent it to set point, and although the Vikings saved one, Sonchen ended the set with a well-placed push.
St. Elizabeth scored the first point of the third set, as they had in the first two, but the Spartans bounced back with five straight. Yurkovich took the spotlight as the set progressed. The freshman blasted several kills as the match progressed. The Spartans scored seven of the final eight points to seal the victory. That run featured Seemans’ 13th and final kill, along with consecutive aces from Dow. The match concluded with a hitting error.
In addition to Seemans, Yurkovich was in double figures in kills with 11, and Dow had six. The Spartans (9-0) were credited with 15 aces. They are off until Tuesday, when they travel to Red Lion for a 6 p.m. start.
Final statistics were not available for St. Elizabeth late Thursday night. The Vikings (4-5) host Padua next Thursday at 7:15 p.m.