The Santa Fe College volleyball team fought hard this weekend at the Daytona State College Invitational Tournament but came up short in all three matches. On Friday, September 6, the Saints took on nationally ranked Polk State College Eagles in the first match of the tournament and lost in four sets; 13-25, 25-18, 19-25, 19-25. The Saints were led by sophomore outside hitter Kelley Catlett with 10 kills while fellow Saint Maddie Sheffield added nine more.
Saints head coach Nick Cheronis reflected on the loss. "We are learning to play at a high level for a long period of time, so it was an invaluable experience for our young team."
Friday's second matchup for the Saints resulted in a tough five setter in favor of Indian River State College: 25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 9-15. The Saints were led offensively by Sheffield with 12 kills while the defense saw Catlett and Emily Register chipping in four blocks each.
"Indian River runs the kind of system that you need a week to prepare for, so given our quick turnaround we accomplished a lot," stated Cheronis.
The Saturday match for the Saints proved just as tough as the rest of the tournament as the opponent was the regionally ranked Broward College Seahawks. The match turned out to be another heartbreaker for the Saints as they came up short in a five-set effort: 25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 27-25, 8-15. This time around freshman outside hitter Sarah Hamlin produced 10 kills and Sheffield led the effort again with 12. Register led the Saints blockers with five total blocks.
Cheronis declared, "It was a strange match of ups and downs where we could have won in three (sets) but lost in five. Our youth was a big factor." He continued, "On the whole we competed very well, but our confidence and consistency of competition was too erratic. When losses like this hit a team, it will test its resolve."
The team's resolve will be put to the test soon enough. Cheronis added, "With St. Pete coming in town on Tuesday we will see very quickly how we will respond."
The Saints (2-5) look to bounce back at home Tuesday, September 10 against St. Petersburg College, 6:00 p.m.
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