By Andrew Chirico
The last collegiate volleyball match they would ever play.
That’s what seniors Audrey Utchen, Rachel Baker, and Alexis Jordan went through this past week, when they bounced back from being down two sets to McDaniel College to take a 3-2 season finale win. Prior to the match versus McDaniel, Washington College lost their final home game to Haverford College 3-1.
“My emotions during my last game were all over the place. When the national anthem started playing, I started to get really emotional,” said Utchen. “This gym and this program have shaped me so much as a player and person that it hit me hard when I realized Wednesday night was my last time hearing our version of the anthem play while wearing a uniform. I knew I would get emotional, but I didn’t realize how much so until that moment.”
WC found a 24-23 lead in the first set which was then taken over by Haverford, who scored the final three points and ultimately took a 1-0 lead over the Shorewomen. The Fords then took the second set with a controlling 25-18 score. WC wouldn’t go down without a fight.
The third set was all WC until they took the first six of seven points. The score would eventually even at 19-19, which was followed by a point for WC never looked back, taking the set with a 25-20 victory.
Haverford found the groove they lost in the third set and carried it over to the fourth set with a dominant 25-12 set win to give them the victory.
Leading WC was junior Taylor Horan with 37 assists and 13 digs. Marino followed with 14 kills and 11 digs. Rounding out the top performances was Utchen with a match-high 20 digs.
Head Coach Jamie Leventry feels the team played well versus a top opponent in the Centennial Conference.
“We served them tough, and executed our offense very well at times. Consistency is just once again our issue,” said Leventry. “But I was proud of how we played and I look forward to continuing to build on that effort, both for the end off this season and into next season.”
McDaniel started the match strong, taking the first two sets by a combined nine points. Just when it seemed as if the Shorewomen were going to drop the season finale in three sets, they came back, and snagged the next two sets tying the game at 2-2.
WC then took the last and most important set, 15-12, which gave them the victory. Horan had 36 assists and 15 digs. “Taylor is a fantastic player for us. We’ve asked a lot of her this season and she has stepped up to the challenge,” said Leventry.
Leventry is optimistic for the future and looks forward to the team’s offseason program.
“The team will be starting to prep for next season. Coach Morgan Hoover and I will continue to work hard to recruit the next great class to come to WC. The team will be getting in the weight room with Coach Jonnie Jenkins to get stronger and faster,” said Leventry. “We’ll also be setting our team goals for next season. Even though it’s our off season, it’s still the time we use to continue to get better.”
To end the season, WC finished with a 12-13 overall record, with a 3-7 Centernnial Conference record. Home matches came tough for the Shorewomen, going just 1-6 in the Cain Athletic Center. Meanwhile, neutral locations treated the team well, going 6-1. WC fell just under .500 on the road, as they finished with a 5-6 record.