Scots down Pride, fall to Captains
By Darren Dunlap | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Maryville College volleyball team took the opening set against conference foe Christopher Newport University on Saturday. The helm belonged to the Captains from there.
In the first USA South match for the Scots, CNU defeated the host Maryville College in four sets, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20 and 25-20.
MC recovered to hand conference opponent Greensboro College a loss later in the afternoon.
“We’ve been preparing for this. I think the game plan was solid. Christopher Newport is an excellent team,” MC coach Kandis Schram said. “They have a lot of power, they have a lot of experience. We knew it was going to be tough going into it. I’m so proud of our team for responding the way they did.
“We’re going to take this, critique it and learn from it. Hopefully, we’ll see them again in the tournament and get a different result.”
This is Maryville College’s first year in the USA South Conference. Christopher Newport is the pre-season favorite to win the conference title and currently sits in first place.
CNU (15-4, 4-0 USA South) scored the first point of the first set, then Maryville College (9-9, 1-1) took the lead and held it the rest of the way. The Scots went on a run and moved ahead 14-6, but the Captains whittled down their advantage to close within three points, 23-20.
Senior Teri Lind scored the next two points for the Scots, first from the net and then from the service line, for the win in the first set. Lind is one of the Scots’ two seniors.
“I felt like Teri Lind did a phenomenal job. I thought she ran the court as well as I’ve seen her this year,” Schram said. “She came out swinging, serving. Her set selection was spot-on. She had some key blocks. I really felt like she stepped it up in that match.”
In the final three sets, CNU opened with the lead and never let up. The Scots challenged the Captains in the last two sets, coming within three points of the visiting team near at the end of each set. Christopher Newport held off Maryville College with a mix of saves and deft attacks at the net.
“They were able to vary their hitting really well. They had some phenomenal saves where, a lot of teams we play, those balls are down,” Schram said. “They play with a lot of composure. They’re not in the top 5 of the country for nothing. And we know that. We know that we’re going to have to play our best and be a little smarter because they’re going to be stronger.”
The Captains knocked off the Scots in the opening round of last year’s NCAA tournament. Saturday’s match was the first since the teams have met since last November and the first time they’ve met in a conference match. Ironically that meeting also fell on the same weekend as the MC football team’s visit to Christopher Newport. The football Scots were hosting CNU Saturday as the conference rotates the schedule back a week every two seasons, moving CNU from last to first on the schedule.
Morgan Hall, an MC sophomore and Maryville High School graduate anticipates the volleyball Scots will see CNU again.
“I think we’ve just got to get to keep the momentum. If they get two points, we get three or four. We need to stay on top of them and not let them get around on us,” Hall said.
Maryville College travels to Berry College on Oct. 5 for a 7 p.m. match. in non-conference competition.