Despite stumbling to an 0-4 record in last weekend's prestigious Western Maryland Invitational, St. Mary's women's volleyball coach Bryan Snyder is confident heading into the last week of the regular season.
"Maybe we hit our low point [at the tournament] and now we're coming back up a little bit," Snyder said. "We can still finish second in the conference, host two playoff games, and the conference winner gets an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament this year, so that's the tournament we really want to focus on."
The Seahawks (19-12, 4-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference) did play well in their opening matches Friday, but fell short against regional powers Moravian of Bethlehem, Pa., and Richard Stockton of Pomona, N.J., Snyder said.
After losing in three straight games to No. 5 Moravian in the opening match, the Seahawks defeated No. 8 Stockton, 15-5, in the first game and held a 7-1 lead in Game 2 and a 13-11 lead in Game 3 before faltering. The final score was 15-5, 13-15, 13-15, 10-15. Moravian advanced to the final, losing there to Franklin & Marshall.
"We didn't do a real good job playing to our strengths when we got in a bad rotation," Snyder said. "We tried to make some plays we weren't capable of making, and we were making mistakes to give them points."
With little to play for on Saturday, St. Mary's lost to Salisbury State in three games and Eastern College of St. Davids, Pa., in four games. Junior Tracy Miksis led the Seahawks' attack with 60 kills over the weekend, and senior Sylvia Kaltreider led with 58 digs while tallying 113 assists.
St. Mary's closes its regular season Saturday at Villa Julie against Elizabethtown.
Men's Soccer Team Ends Slump
The hard-luck St. Mary's men's soccer team had not scored in five consecutive matches before Tuesday's 3-2 victory over Marymount. Marymount grabbed the lead four minutes into the game before St. Mary's sophomore Ryan Olsen took over. He converted a penalty kick in the 35th minute, assisted on Omar Kechrid's go-ahead goal in the 66th and scored the eventual game-winner for St. Mary's (7-8, 3-3) with just over seven minutes remaining.
The St. Mary's women's soccer team defeated Marymount, 6-0, and Shenandoah, 4-0, last week to climb to 10-3. The 10 goals were scored by eight players, including two each by sophomores Aubrey Banig and Christa Childers.
Charles Soccer's Ups, Downs
After posting three consecutive victories, the 12-player Charles County Community College women's soccer team lost three times to fall to 7-7-1 for the season. Anne Arundel, ranked fourth in the nation, defeated Charles County, 7-0, on Oct. 12, and Essex, ranked second in Region XX, topped the Hawks, 3-2, last Saturday. Charles County's Valerie Raby scored her region-high 18th goal of the season in the Essex game.
On Sunday, the Hawks lost, 1-0, to Spartansburg Methodist in a physical, nonconference game. Charles closes its regular season Saturday at home against Dundalk and will open the regional tournament Oct. 28.