Nate Pearsall, Staff Writer
Megan Vernoy on the attack on the first day of the tournament
As the Saint Martin’s volleyball team stepped off their plane in Seattle early on the morning of Sept. 2, a mix of emotions filled the air. Some tired, some proud of their growth, and all filled with plenty of excitement.
As the last half of the passengers unloaded, Megan Vernoy, a San Francisco native and senior right-side, exited following her last match in front of her hometown crowd. With her parents in the audience, Vernoy put on a killer clinic in their five-set loss to California State Dominguez Hills, with 25 kills, two service aces and six digs with an incredible .550 hit percentage. These 25 kills set a new personal record for Vernoy, who had just set a personal record with 17 kills the night before. With 25, this put her fourth all-time in the school record book.
“I didn’t even know I had 25, I was so focused on trying to win the game that my individual performance didn’t matter at the time,” says Vernoy, “I honestly was still amazed at my 17-kill night the night before and just wanted to have a good follow up game!”
The Saints found some success in their California trip. The first match of the tournament set the Saints off on the wrong foot after being swept by the host team, the San Francisco State Gators. In a straight set loss, the Saints were led by Rachel Gondrezick with nine kills and Alyssa Bartlett with 23 assists.
Later that night, the Saints came back with a vengeance against the University of Hawaii-Hilo. After being swept by the Vulcans in the first game of the season, the Saints came out firing. Taking a 2-0 lead into the third set was a big start for the Saints, but after a small drop off, the Saints found themselves entering a fifth set, still looking for their first win of the season. The team was in all-or-nothing mode entering the fifth set when Ililani Kamaka and Vernoy combined for two service aces and six kills, which helped the Saints win the set 15-10 and their first match of the year.
The Saints kept their momentum into the second day and third match of the tournament with a straight sweep against The Academy of the Arts. The Saints showed their full potential against some of the West Coast’s top talents. Even with the fourth match loss against a talented California State Dominguez Hills, head coach Jon Killingbeck had some big words for the future of the Saints, saying “We played some good volleyball tonight … we just came up a little short. Megan [Vernoy] played insane tonight and that just makes us more dangerous for the future.” Their home schedule begins Sept. 13 and 15 with Concordia University and Western Oregon University. These games begin at 7 p.m. in the Marcus Pavilion.