Mount de Sales Academy volleyball coach Monica Owensby said her team has been playing like “a roller coaster” the last several weeks. It was another uneven ride for the No. 3 Sailors Wednesday against No. 8 Archbishop Spalding, but they emerged victorious, 25-16, 25-20 and 26-24, in an IAAM A Conference contest in Catonsville.
Hannah Schmidt and Taylor Beaumont each had 11 kills for Mount de Sales (9-1 overall), and senior Caroline Casey added seven kills and four block kills. Junior hitter Jamie Rombach had seven kills for Spalding, and Kristen Seeba finished with five kills, six assists and three aces.
In handing Archbishop Spalding (13-1, 6-1 IAAM A) its first loss, Mount de Sales claimed sole possession of the first in the IAAM A (7-0) with two league matches remaining. Owensby is hoping the Sailors can start building momentum after less than inspiring play.
“Our communication and passing between the setters to the hitters has to be there; sometimes we are, sometimes we’re not, it’s a roller coaster ride,” said Owensby. “We cannot be this roller coaster where we’re on one night, off the other. We’re on at practices, matches we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“We really didn’t play that well, we weren’t really focused,” said Schmidt. “We managed to hold on and pull through it.”
Thanks to a host of unforced errors, the Sailors trailed 21-17 in the third game before a kill by Beaumount started a run of four straight points. They trailed 24-23 after a kill by Rombach, but claimed the last three points for the sweep.
The second game was a back-and-forth affair until a pair of aces by and block kill by Schmidt and Casey surged Mount de Sales to a 21-17 advantage. Spalding jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third game before the Sailors gained a 13-10 advantage. They gave the lead right back with a series of mistakes.
“We had too many errors in a row and it got in our heads mentally,” said Owensby. “Once we started making negatives into positives, we picked ourselves up. Spalding definitely brought its best game.”
Seeba finished 18 of 19 serving and Rombach went a perfect 8-for-8 with Nikki Hurley for Spalding. The Cavaliers’ perfect run heading into Wednesday was sparked by a junior-laden roster, but Scott Rombach said Mount de Sales’ experience got it over the top.
“Their big hitters are seniors, ours aren’t; it’s a big difference,” said Rombach. “They’re a good all-around team. We’ll see them again.”
Spalding hosts No. 13 Seton Keough Friday before closing its regular season at 19th ranked Notre Dame Prep. Mount de Sales finishes league play against Notre Dame Prep Friday and Monday against St. Mary’s.
“I feel the team is too comfortable with our position and the games we have left,” said Owensby. “We still have to go out and prove ourselves.”
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