Volleyball team splits pair of matches in tri-tournament

Volleyball_JrAbbyHilty_MarkCooleyEDITED (1)By Austin Allen

Elm Staff Writer 

The Washington College Women’s Volleyball team split a pair of home matches on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Cain Athletic Center.

In the first match of the day, Gettysburg got the best of the Shorewomen as they beat WC, 3-1 (25-13, 25-16, 23-25, 25-22) in a Centennial Conference match. In the second match of the afternoon, WC fought off five elimination points in the fifth set, defeating visiting Wesley 3-2 (25-13, 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 17-15) in a non-conference contest.

In the first match up of the day, the Gettysburg Bullets came out on fire — as the won the first set by 12 points. The Bullets hit .429 and rallied 12 kills. The Bullets seemed to have everything clicking as they started with a 5-1 lead over the Shorewomen.

During the second set, with Gettysburg holding a 17-15 lead, the Bullets closed out on an 8-1 run to go up 2-0. This set was more competitive, as the Shorewomen did not give up. It was a hard-fought battle.

The Shorewomen knew that it was not over.

Junior Isabella Sansanelli said, “Mentally we knew the game wasn’t over, we just had to continue to compete at a high level and fight. Coach Jamie told us that we were going to have fight through and stay connected.”

The Bullets got out to a quick start, leading the match 6-2 and ending when junior Kylie Peets garnered four kills to tie the game at 6-6. Later in the third set, down 19-14, the Shorewomen won 11 of the final 15 points to avoid the sweep and win by two.

Junior Abby Hilty helped the team by serving three straight aces to tie the match at 19-19.

She said, “After those three aces, that really helped my confidence, as well as the team’s confidence as well.”

After a kill by Sansanelli put WC ahead for good at 21-20, the Shorewomen ended the set with a final score of 25-23.

Sansanelli said, “We never gave up and it was important for our whole team to remain positive and keep a level head.”

In the fourth set, the game was back and forth. It started out close and the scores remained within one or two points of each other throughout. Towards the middle of the set, the score was knotted at 15-15, when sophomore Jenna Daunoras made three kills in a row to put the Shorewomen up 18-15.

Daunoras said, “This was huge for our team because we knew how close we were, and we were all just excited and pumped with our home crowd in it as well.”

Later in the set, all tied at 21-21, Gettysburg won four of the final five points of the set and match. Opponent Kasey Higgins tallied a kill to put the Bullets ahead the rest of the way at 22-21, and ended the contest with a finisher.

Head Coach for the Shorewomen, Coach Jaime Leventry, said, “It was a great team effort and I’m proud of our team and how we just kept fighting all the way through.”

In the second match up for the Shorewomen, they hosted Wesley, a tough team looking for their seventh win of the season. The Shorewomen came out on fire and went on a 9-3 run during the first set to create a large deficit. They kept this momentum, up 19-8 following a miscue by the Wesley Wolverines. The Shorewomen definitely came out focused and ready to play. They won the first set 25-13.

Senior Captain Cassie Kowalski said, “They looked great out there and determined to get the win.”

To start off the second set, the Shorewomen went up 10-7 against the Wolverines. The Shorewomen went ahead to win 10 of the next 13 points to extend their lead to 20-10. After, the Shorewomen were able to rally and close out the second set on top, 25-17.

Wesley would not go down quietly, and rallied to win the third set 25-23.  The Wolverines stole the lead 15-7 to start. But, two more kills by Sansanelli put the Shorewomen closer 15-9. The Shorewomen did rally back from 18-13, down tying at 23-23 on another Kylie Peets kill, before Wesley won the last two points to win the set.

Peets said, “It was good to see our team was still in good spirits after that loss, and we all knew this wasn’t going to be easy, so we just kept that mentality heading into the fourth set.”

In the fourth set, trailing 10-6, Wesley went on a 13-5 run to take a 19-15 lead following an attack error by WC. Leventry said, “Attack errors can definitely cost you, but we cleaned them up and remained focus throughout, which was important.”

WC would rally to tie it at 24-24 after an error by the Wolverines.  The Wolverines would pull through and take the fourth set by winning the final two points.

In the fifth set, the Shorewomen were determined because they knew they couldn’t drop this game. The set started out with the Shorewomen on top 4-1 over the Wolverines. The Wolverines came back by scoring 13 points of the next 19 to take a 14-10 lead.

Kowalski said, “It was important for us to regroup and refocus. I just wanted to be a leader for my team and let them know that we’ve been here before and to remain calm.”

This was huge, because the Wolverines only needed one point to win the match. However, the Shorewomen rallied and won five elimination points in their comeback.

The Shorewomen scored four straight points to tie it up at 14-14. The Wolverines then took a 15-14 lead over the Shorewomen. Then, Daunoras tied the set on a monster kill, which gave the Shorewomen a 16-15 lead. Peets would end the match with a kill, and the Shorewomen emerged victorious.

Peets said, “For our team to come together like we did and fight through adversity really says a lot about our team and where our mentality is.”

Up next, the Shorewomen will travel to Pennsylvania to take on Bryn Mawr, on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7p.m. for a Centennial Conference match up.

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