By Andrew Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
After a very impressive five game winning streak, sweeping their opponents 3-0 in each matchup, the Washington College volleyball team was handed their first loss of the season by visiting Marymount. The home opener ended in a three set sweep, 25-21, 28-26, and 26-24.
The historic season-opening victory over Salisbury gave the Shorewomen momentum that carried the team through a flawless four-match sweep at the DeSales Invitational tournament eariler this month. WC defeated Gwynedd Mercy, Baruch, DeSales, and Rutgers Camden, all in straight sets to win the event. The five-game flawless streak was is the first of its kind for the WC volleyball program.
For their first match in the Cain Athletic Center the Shorewomen found themselves trailing ealy. Marymount sparked the fire early, scoring the first two points in the first set. WC found themselves tied with the Saints early on, 6-6, after a kill by senior outside hitter Jess Daunoras. Marymount then went on a streak of runs, including a four point run to give them a quick 10-6 lead. WC was never able to get ahead at that point and with that their streak of 15 consecutive sets won came to an end.
The suspenseful second set started off with a 5-2 run in favor of WC. A couple of point streaks for Marymount led to the Shorewomen into a hole, down 22-17, the largest deficit in the second set. WC then organized a late 7-2 run, eventually knotting the game to 24 a piece. The last two points went to the visiting Saints and they were able to finish off the set.
The largest point streak of the game came at the worst time for WC. Marymount went on a five point stretch, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Shorewomen from coming from behind to tie the third set 24-24. Yet again, Marymount prevailed and scored the last two points to finish the game.
A great influence on WC’s defeat was due to the lowest hitting percentage performed by the Shorewomen all season, .087. In fact, this was the lowest hitting percentage since early last season when WC traveled to Gettysburg on Sept. 27, dropping all three sets. Along with the low percentage came the lowest assist total for the offense all season with just 30.
Not all statistics were negative. Daunoras broke the programs all-time assisted block record. The second-year captain set the record when she recorded her 182nd assisted block of her career. Daunoras couldn’t have imagined a better start to her final season.
“It think setting the assisted block all time record my senior year is a great way to start my last year. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store,” she said.
As for the loss, the Shorewomen work to get back on track after dropping their first game of the season. “We played very well in the five games before the loss, and we have to keep that momentum going,” said Daunoras. “We just have to focus on us and play the game I know we can play.”
WC recovered from the home loss by beating Shenandoah in Grantham, Pa. 3-1 on Sept. 12, but fell to Messiah 3-2 later that day.
The Shorewomen look to bounce back at Hampton Inn Crusader Classic which will include double-headers on both Sept. 18 and 19.
*All game statistics courtesy of washingtoncollegesports.com box score reports.*