After a sluggish start, the Sacred Heart Cathedral girls' volleyball team was able to get back into the win column as it beat Marin Catholic in straight sets 25-19, 25-13, 25-15 on Tuesday night in a nonleague matchup.
"I think that our defense started picking it up a bit," SHC coach Margi Beima said. "We were really quiet at the beginning of the game and they started talking better and focusing on the next point instead of looking at the scoreboard and seeing we were down five."
The Irish (6-1) shook off some early rust against Marin Catholic and SHC got back into a rhythm.
"Our focus was taking care of what we could control on our side of the court because we didn't know how good they would be," Beima said. "Once we got our feet under us halfway through that first match, our defense started seeing stuff a little better, we were covering better, not making silly errors."
Marin Catholic (0-1) got out to an early lead behind sophomore outside hitter Carol Raffety. She had three kills in a 6-2 run that extended the Wildcats' lead to 12-5.
The Irish settled down and mounted a comeback. SHC tied the set at 17-17 after a couple of Marin Catholic miscues and, following another kill from Raffety, the Irish kept the pressure on and completed a 19-7 run, which featured three kills, a service ace and a block from Christina Lalor, to take the first set.
SHC continued its hot play in the second set and quickly took a 10-4 lead behind a pair of kills from Madison Wong and Madison Murtagh, which forced Marin Catholic to call timeout.
Murtagh finished with a team-high 11 kills and three blocks.
The timeout did nothing to reorganize the Wildcats as the Irish went on a quick 6-0 run out of the timeout and took a commanding 16-4 lead. SHC cruised the rest of the way to take the two-set lead.
Marin Catholic nearly made a match of it in the third set and got within two points at 15-13 after a pair of kills from Raffety. But SHC proved too much for Marin Catholic as they finished the set on a 10-2 run.
SHC senior setter Gabriella Firpo collected a double-double with 15 digs and 30 assists.