St. Francis might lose so few volleyball matches that there's no such thing as a good loss, but the No. 1 Spartans have managed to find a positive from their one setback this season.
St. Francis opened the year with a defeat against Mother McAuley -- and the Spartans haven't lost since. They made it 13 wins in a row Monday with a 25-14, 25-12 victory at Rosary.
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"Mother McAuley was a hard one to start with but we are looking forward to playing them again and playing much better," said Spartans libero Sam Dubiel who finished with 14 digs Monday, several of the spectacular variety. "That was a big learning tool. We have used that game to get better every day. We talk about what we did wrong, what we can do better."
St. Francis (13-1, 2-0 in the Suburban Christian Conference) did a little of everything well against Rosary (3-10, 0-2), starting with Dubiel's defense, strong serving led by Lisa Mordell, and a variety of big swings from Molly Haggerty (6 kills), Kamryn Malloy (5 blocks) and Maddie Haggerty (3 kills).
"We've got a lot of weapons to throw at you," Spartans coach Peg Kopec said. "I thought Rosary played outstanding defense."
Kopec's team played without middle Mary Boken (knee), and Maddie Haggerty played just briefly in Game 2.
The Spartans trailed in both games 1-0 before jumping to big leads each time behind Mordell's serves. The junior finished with 4 aces and 10 points and put the Spartans up 4-1 in Game 1 and 8-1 in Game 2.
Natalie Murison (7 assists), Dani Messa and Molly Haggerty also had at least one ace. St. Francis rattled off eight aces while making just one service error.
"Lisa's got a good serve. We're a pretty good serving team, we put a lot of pressure on," Kopec said.
Murison set Sarah Muisenga for a kill to end Game 1. Murison then closed out the second game herself with an ace.
While the Royals weren't that close in either game, they did have their moments. Genevieve Talbot gave the team a spark in Game 2 with 8 digs.
"She ran every corner four times on one play," Royals coach Rachel Hartmann said. "It was great to see her not jut make a touch on the ball but a touch we could make a good swing.
"When you match up player to player I'm pretty pleased with how we actually fought with them. I saw some things we've been working on in practice. I'm just telling the girls to stay patient, it's going to happen, we've just got to get more practice."
Nina Valaitis led Rosary with 5 kills. Josephine Gallagher had 5 assists and Grace Konovodoff 3.
After graduating eight seniors from last year's team, Rosary has a lot of new faces this fall including freshmen Martha Konovodoff (6 digs), Erin Burke and Julia Gauthier.
"It's just a matter of us clicking," Hartmann said. "It's starting to happen but it's just going to take time. Once they learn the speed of varsity they'll be OK."