Volleyball competition within the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies is often intense, but the level of play of non-league opponents can vary greatly.
Volleyball competition within the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies is often intense, but league schools such as Mount St. Joseph's find the level of play of non-league opponents can vary greatly.
On September 8, the Mount Magic went on the road and suffered a 3-0 setback against the Academy of Notre Dame, the defending champions of
the Pa. Independent Schools Athletic Association.
An opponent not nearly as accomplished turned up at the Mount last Monday evening, Harry S. Truman High School from Levittown.
After cruising to a 25-10 win in the opening set, the Magic began to move athletes into positions they don't normally play. By the third set the line-up was truly topsy-turvy. The Mount won the second set, 25-10, then took the third at 25-19 against a Truman team that actually did play better as the match went on.
With the victory, the Mounties improved to a record of 8-1 overall while remaining 3-0 with the AACA. As in many seasons past, Villa Maria is projected to be the team to beat within the Academies League. After the Truman contest, Mount St. Joe was slated to complete the first round of league play with matches against Gwynedd Mercy and Villa.
With senior Gillian Manas serving to start off last week's Truman match, the Magic went out to a 4-0 lead (including an ace by Manas to the right rear corner) and would remain ahead the rest of the way.
The Tigers put a few points on the board (mostly on MSJ errors), but a kill and a scoring push by senior hitter Kaitlyn Kovatch helped the hosts reach double figures on the scoreboard at 10-5. Sophomore hitter Gabby Clair registered a kill and a service ace, and then some swats from the middle of the front row by junior Lauren Montgomery helped force Truman to call time-out, trailing 20-7.
Magic senior Charlie Wyke pushed the ball to an open spot to score, but most of the Mount's late points came on mistakes by the visitors.
After the home team's 25-10 victory in the opening round, Truman kept pace with the Mounties early in the second set.
After the scoreboard was balanced at 4-4, though, the Magic steadily pulled ahead, achieving advantages of 10-5 and then 18-6 before going on to win, 25-10. Set point came on a kill from left outside by senior Sarah Dutkissis, who is normally a setter and defensive specialist.
By the third set, the Magic's regular alignment had been completely reimagined. A diminutive DS, sophomore Nina Kephart, was making kills from the right side, while fellow 10th grader Amelia Martinelli crossed the right sideline to make a great save.
At times the Magic seemed too lackadaisical, and Truman not only kept up with the Magic, but gained a late lead at 19-18. A serve in into the net by the Tigers gave the ball back to the Mount. Sophomore Kate Dorrington, a varsity/JV swing player, scored on a block and then got another point on a tip as the Magic ran off seven straight points to finish out the set (25-19) and clinch the match.