by Tom Utescher
Travelling to the Academy of the New Church last Friday afternoon, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s volleyball team recorded its fourth 3-0 victory of the season while raising its overall record to 5-2.
The Blue Devils let the host Lions come back against them in the first set before pulling out a 25-23 win, but SCH was more consistent in the next two rounds, wrapping them up at 25-14 and 25-15. Their other straight-sets victories this fall have come against Engineering & Science High School, Interboro High School, and Little Flower, and the Devils beat George School by a 3-1 count. Their two setbacks, both 0-3, were bouts with Abington High School and Lawrenceville School.
As last Friday’s contest got underway, the Blue Devils and ANC seesawed up to a 4-4 score. SCH then forged ahead for good as senior Marissa Pownall held serve for seven straight points. Junior Catie McDermott came up with a kill during this stretch, but most of the points were scored when New Church failed to return Pownall’s serves.
Soon after this surge by the visitors, the host Lions called time-out. After falling behind by almost double digits, at 15-6, the home team revived with four consecutive points. SCH got three back, one point coming on a scoring block by Pownall and junior Katie Suplick, but then the visitors’ attention wandered and ANC put up eight of the next nine points to make it a one-point affair at 19-18.
The Lions were within a single point of the leaders several more times, but the Blue Devils managed to cling to the lead, finally closing out the set at 25-23.
As in the first set, the teams went neck-and-neck through the early minutes of the second round. From a 7-7 tie, Springside Chestnut Hill broke into the lead, climbing to a 17-8 advantage largely through just focusing on keeping the ball in play. Going after points more aggressively, ANC made errors, missing the sideline and the baseline on kill attempts or simply hitting the ball into its own side of the net.
SCH picked up a few points on kills by Suplick and senior Anab Aidid along the way, eventually gaining a 2-0 lead in the match by taking the second segment, 25-14.
New Church put up the first point of the third set, but then the visitors got loose on a 7-1 run and led the rest of the way. Approaching match point at 24-15, SCH had Suplick deliver a hit from the middle. An ANC defender dug the ball out, but she sent it veering sidewise so that none of her teammates could control it, ending the contest.