St. Mary's Ryken Volleyball Looking to Take Strides

Published by Southern Maryland News on October 5, 2021

By TED BLACK 

Volleyball 2021 Ted Black - 2

Photo by Ted Black

Through the first few weeks of the current season in which they competed in the tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, the St. Mary’s Ryken High School volleyball team was humbled frequently in setbacks against three of the top four teams in the conference.

But St. Mary’s Ryken (SMR) (5-8 overall, 0-5 in the WCAC) partly righted its ship by going 5-3 in the Arundel Tournament, then appeared well on its way to its first WCAC victory when taking a two-games-to-none lead over host Elizabeth Seton High School of Prince George’s County on Sep. 28. But the Knights failed to close out that match and eventually fell to the Roadrunners 25-14, 25-17, 16-26, 12-25 and 11-15.

“We just have to learn how to finish,” said St. Mary’s Ryken coach Delwyn Harris. “We lost the momentum that third set and we could not get it back. I thought the girls played really well those first two sets. Those last three sets could have gone out way, but we didn’t finish.”

SMR had won the first two sets comfortably before dropping the next two, so the initial stages in the fifth-set tie-breaker would be paramount. Knights’ setter Jenna Ring started it with three straight winners and the teams were tied at 7-7 before the host Roadrunners used a 5-0 run to claim the lead for good and eventually prevail 15-11.

“We were able to do a lot of things well those first two sets,” said SMR sophomore outside hitter Emily Farrell. “We’re so much improved since the first week of the season. We still have a lot of things we can do better. But we’re still a young team and we’ll get there.”

SMR could not have asked for a better start to the match as the Knights took the first two sets in rather lopsided fashion. The team got an early service run from middle hitter Amelia Stencel for an 8-3 lead and later Asya Anderson closed the opening set with six straight service winners that featured three aces for a comfortable victory.

Volleyball 2021

Photo by Ted Black

SMR could not have started the second set any better as setter Jenna Ring riddled the Roadrunners’ back row with 10 straight service winners that included a pair of kills from Leah Quade and another from Anderson. Service runs from Stencel and Anderson lifted the visitors to a commanding 19-9 advantage and they cruised to a 25-17 victory for a two games to none lead.

SMR used a bevy of reserves in the second set, fell behind early and never threatened as the Roadrunners coasted to a 25-12 win. But Ring started the fourth set with a 5-0 run and the Knights looked poised for a sweep. Seton, however, reversed the tide early and closed out the fourth set on a 13-2 run to bring the match even at two games apiece.

 

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