Germantown Academy's volleyball team closed out the month of September with a record of 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the Inter-Ac League.
Germantown Academy's volleyball team closed out the month of September with a record of 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the Inter-Ac League thanks to a 3-0 victory over visiting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy last Friday. Two days earlier, the Patriots had chalked up a key early-season win when they went on the road to beat defending Pa. Independent Schools champion Academy of Notre Dame, 3-1.
The SCH Blue Devils were 0-3 in the league and 3-4 overall going into October, but they've shown signs of improvement with a roster that includes a greater number of club volleyball players than in the past.
One of the team's losses had come against always-respectable Agnes Irwin, and at GA the Devils got off to very slow starts in the first two sets but played much better later on.
On Friday, one of the GA starters arrived at the gym without her uniform but was able to find a loaner in time to participate in the match. SCH would have to play without one of its captains, versatile junior Ava Lanzetta, who was away on a college visit.
GA started out on a roll. With Angie Wang at the service line and with fellow senior Kaitlyn Pokorny and junior Hadley Evans scoring kills, the Patriots went up 10-0 on SCH, which finally got a side-out when a Patriot serve sailed out over the baseline.
With junior Caroline Smith scoring from the front row as well as Pokorny and Evans, Germantown went up 15-3 and the Blue Devils called a time-out. The visitors got a side-out on a hit by senior Zahkiyyah Frazier, and then sophomore Madigan Wallach scored on a tip.
SCH was on the verge of bringing the Patriots' lead back down into single figures when the score reached 16-6, then the hosts picked up three points in a row on two Blue Devil errors and a kill by freshman Delaney Schwartz.
SCH added a few more points late in the set as the occasionally impatient Patriots hit and served the ball into the net, but GA eventually closed things out at 25-13, with set point coming on a kill by Smith.
With solid serving from Wang and Evans, as well as a kill by Schwartz and a point on a tip by senior Shae Sawyer-St. Clair, Germantown built a 12-2 advantage in the second set. The Blue Devils steadied themselves after that, getting solid efforts up front from Frazier and Wallach, and also benefitting when the Patriots got a little too eager to score and made mistakes.
However, the visitors were unable to significantly cut into the lead that GA built up early in the set, and a 25-14 victory put the home team up 2-0 in the match.
In set three, the Patriots got going with a tip from sophomore Kat Kou and a hit by Smith. SCH failed to return the next serve, and then Wang drove her fourth serve into the net tape and saw the ball wriggle over the top for an ace.
Springside countered with a tip by eighth-grader Chloe Roberts and a block for a point from junior Bethany Haughton. A few minutes in, SCH was hanging in there as GA held a modest 7-5 advantage. Haughton and eighth-grader Madelyn Moynihan recorded kills and a little later a hit out over the baseline by Patriots gave SCH its first lead of the day, 11-10.
Following a time-out, Germantown strung together three points on a Blue Devils error and two unreturned serves by Wang. Soon, the visitors caught up at 14-14 thanks to a hit by Roberts.
GA got the serve back with a kill by Smith, and with senior Ally Della Franzia holding serve, the Pats took control of the set by reeling off seven more points for a 22-14 lead. Smith remained active during this run with several kills and a score on a block, and Evans hammered down a point, as well.
This time, the Blue Devils could not recover, and GA secured the set at 25-16 to clinch the match.