For a young team with a roster that included only one senior and seven freshmen, the Marymount University Saints compiled a notable fall season, mainly by finishing second in the Atlantic East Conference tournament.
The second-seed and two-time defending-champion Saints (14-15) lost to top-seed Cabrini, 3-1, in the championship match after downing third-seed Neumann, 3-0, in the semifinals.
“Cabrini stepped up at crucial times and played well in the match,” Marymount coach Beth Ann Wilson said.
The game scores of the close championship match were 25-22, 25-23, 21-25 and 25-21. Cabrini also defeated the Saints during a close regular-season clash, 3-2. Those were the Saints’ only two losses in conference play during the season.
“We were young and had the talent, and they were a supportive group of players. But we always couldn’t get it together and pull out a lot of close wins,” Wilson said. “We had a lot of juniors in the lineup who didn’t play much during the 2019 season.”
There also were four sophomores on the Saints’ young roster.
Marymount only played a handful of matches during the postponed 2020 season because of COVID.
Overall, four of Marymount’s losses this season were by 3-2 scores.
A high-water mark of Marymount’s season was an eight-match winning streak that ended in late October. One of those victories included career triumph number 500 for Wilson, who has coached the Saints for 29 seasons. All of those victories have been at Marymount. She finished the season with 502 wins.
By virtue of surpassing 500 matches, Wilson will receive a plaque from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
“I think 500 wins is a nice milestone, because there are not many coaches who can say they have that many,” Wilson said.
Marymount landed four players on the all-conference teams. Juniors Kaitlyn Doyle and Elissa Munsterman were first-team selections. Sydney Sands, a sophomore, and senior Caylee Shelton made second team. Shelton was the team’s lone senior.
Doyle led Marymount with 279 kills. She added 129 digs, 36 blocks and 23 aces. After being chosen the conference Rookie of the Year in 2019, Munsterman amassed 223 kills and 169 digs this fall.
Sands led Marymount in assists with 731 and aces with 35. She also had 82 kills, earned one Player of the Week honor and tallied 30 or more assists in 12 matches.
Shelton had 132 kills, 215 digs and 28 aces.
Other players with significant statistics were junior Natalie Garbalosa with 345 digs, junior Sarah Pham with 265 digs, freshman Maya Harris with 154 kills and freshman Natalie Bialecki with 174 assists.