Saint Mark's Savannah Seemans slammed her 20th kill on match point to give the Spartans a straight-set victory over Padua for their first win in the rivalry since 2012.
Savannah's older sister Claudia was a sophomore on that Saint Mark's team that featured eventual NCAA Division I players Abbie Mirabella and Lauren Talley, but Claudia was just a spectator on this night in front of a crowd sparked by loud student sections for both schools.
Padua jumped out 3-1 in the opening set off a block from Jessica Molen, but it was a 9-1 Spartans run in the middle of the set, including 2 aces from Katie Sonchen and a Brooke Dow block, that put the Spartans in control.
Serena Pluta's kill preceded two Seemans aces as the Spartans took the opening set 25-17.
Saint Mark's jumped out of the gate in the second, when another Pluta block stretched the lead to 9-4.
Padua would win the next two points, but then another Saint Mark's run put them in control again, and kills from Dow, Sonchen, and Mya Lewis eventually paid off in a 25-19 second set victory.
The Pandas would not go quietly into the night, as they stormed back from 18-12 to set off a wild see-saw that began at 20-20.
The match would be tied at each score marker from there all the way to 29-29, with Padua holding 5 set points, while saving one from Saint Mark's.
At 29-29, Saint Mark's Samantha Gerhart dove from the back row to save a potential tape ace, and her bump was converted into a kill by Seemans to set up match point.
Saint Mark's would not let their second chance to end the match go to waste, as from the outside, Seemans went off the tape, and it landed just inside the line to spark the celebration.
Seemans finished with 20 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces, and 3 blocks for Saint Mark's, part of a 12-block effort from the Spartans.
Yurkovich had 6 kills and 2 blocks, while Dow finished with 4 kills and 2 blocks.
Padua had their usual balanced attack, with Grace Palaypay spiking 9 kills, Molen and Michelle Kozicki each recording 8, and Mackenzie Sobczyk ending with 7.
Saint Mark's (4-0) continues Catholic Conference play at home Thursday against Saint Elizabeth at 7:15 p.m.
Padua (3-1) looks to shake off their first 3 set losses of the season when they host Virginia's Paul VI Catholic Saturday at 1:00 p.m.