By Derek Stiles
Prior to the start of the season, Head Coach Jamie Leventry said the team had hopes of reaching the 20 win mark by the end of the fall. Despite their recent struggles in the Centennial Conference, it looks as if the Shorewomen will achieve their goal as long as their hot streak in non-conference games continues late into the season.
After consecutive victories against Goucher, Catholic, Delaware Valley, and Lancaster Bible, the Shorewomen are looking to maintain their stride when they face off against Dickinson on Saturday and look for their first conference win.
“So far we’ve had a lot of success in nonconference games but we haven’t found momentum in the conference,” sophomore outside hitter Caitlin Cooney said. “If we’re able to avoid small mistakes and starting out slow, I think that will put us in a position to compete with any team in the Centennial Conference.”
The Shorewomen’s victory over Catholic would be just the second time this season that they were able to overcome a one set deficit and take the victory (last happened on Sept. 20 against Lycoming).
Freshman setter Taylor Horan set the pace as she recorded her fifth double-double of the season with a match-best and career-high 56 assists. Junior outside hitter Kristin Lee has proven to be the offensive spark for the team this season and she continued the trend against Cardinals with 20 kills and 21 points on the night.
“Last night it showed that we need to step up what wer are producing under crunch time from the very beginning of the game,” sophomore defensive specialist Audrey Utchen said. “We’ve been starting slow but once we get the ball rolling and playing our volleyball we’ve been a solid team.”
Home court advantage was finally granted to the Shorewomen as they hosted their first tri-match of the season this past weekend. Despite a dominating win over Lancaster Bible, Washington College was unable to pick up the win against a Muhlenberg side that sits atop the Centennial Conference at 6-0 in the conference and 20-2 overall.
Junior middle hitter Jess Daunoras led the team with a career-high 16 kills as the Muhlenberg match was the first time the Shorewomen took the first set against a Centennial Conference opponent.
“Our attitudes have changed since we were able to bring Muhlenberg to five sets,” sophomore outside hitter Caitlin Cooney said. “We realized we can challenge any team if we fight hard and work hard in every single practice. We’re ready to take on the rest of the teams in our conference and with a little more communication on the court I think this team can do big things.”
The Shorewomen’s next four conference matchups pit them against the bottom half of the conference as WC looks to make a late push in the season for a playoff spot.
Their first chance at a conference win will be away on Saturday at Dickinson, who currently sit two places above the Shorewomen in the standings with a 1-4 conference record and 5-10 conference record overall.