by Tom Utescher

SCH senior Michelle Cybularz soars for a kill attempt in last week’s win over Harriton High. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Heavy rains last Friday morning chased many afternoon games off the schedule, but Springside Chestnut Hill Academy fans still got to see one of their teams in action as the Lions’ volleyball team performed in the Vare Field House.

The SCH spikers took advantage of a break in Girls Inter-Ac League competition by ringing up a 3-0 victory over visiting Harriton High School. The win couldn’t affect the Lions’ league record, which remained at 1-5 (the win coming against Baldwin School), but it did get them almost back to even overall, with a 6-7 mark on the season.

SCH went ahead in the opening set, 6-1, with kills from senior Gianna Pownall (on a pass) and junior Courtney Hamilton blending in with errors made by the Lady Rams. The visitors dug in their heels and eventually pulled back within three points at 11-8, and from there the score seesawed up to 18-15.

Harriton served into the net for a side-out, and Lions junior Jenna Moriarty then stepped to the baseline and put the ball in play for three more points in a row. The gap narrowed to 22-18 before the visitors gave the ball back on a miscue. With sophomore Bridget McDermott now serving for the home team, Harriton made two more errant hits and the Lions won the set, 25-18.

The Lady Rams had a tall and talented middle hitter in junior Nadira Anderson, and she proved to be the team’s best server, as well. Anderson, who just picked up the sport a year ago, could not be everywhere at once, though. In the second set, the SCH squad stayed focused the whole way, turning an 8-1 start into a 25-7 victory. A tip at the net by junior Kathryn Saltzman secured set point for the hosts.

In set three, the Lions leapt ahead once more. Senior Michelle Cybularz served a true (untouched) ace just inside the middle of the baseline for the first point, and after a few more points a hit by Saltzman made it 5-0. Harriton fought back and soon had its deficit down to two, at 7-5.

Springside Chestnut Hill got loose on another 5-0 run that featured hits by Saltzman and McDermott and a scoring pass by Cybularz.

Down 12-5, the stubborn Lady Rams stopped their slide, eventually pulling even with their hosts at 16-16. However, the visitors diminished their own momentum with some mistakes, and over the next few minutes a successful block by Anderson was the only interruption during a 6-1 burst by the locals. Harriton could not catch up again, and eventually a quick push over the net by Pownall secured set (and match) point at 25-19.

The Lady Rams returned to Rosemont still with just one mark in their win column, a victory over Interboro High School.
If SCH hadn’t cancelled a match with Interboro that had been scheduled for the previous day, the Lions might have ended the week at the .500 mark.