Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College Women’s Volleyball team suffered a pair of four-set non-conference defeats in a tri-match hosted by Stevenson University. The Shorewomen started the day with a 22-25, 25-7, 25-13, 25-10 loss to the host school before falling to Misericordia, 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 25-23.
The Shorewomen got off to a great start in the first set, starting out with a 5-2 lead.
During the first set, the Shorewomen never trailed, and used a 6-0 run to build a 21-11 advantage on junior Maggie Pietrucha’s kill. This was huge for the Shorewomen, as they used that momentum all throughout the set. The very next play, junior Abby Smith, who has been showing well for the Shorewomen, put them up bigger with a ferocious kill.
Smith said, “For me personally, that kill was huge for our team because our confidence definitely went up. We just had to remain focused on our goal and stay disciplined like Coach Jaime had been preaching to us.”
The Shorewomen led 24-16, a pretty significant gap. Then, the Mustangs ran off six straight points to cut the lead to two. However, a service error by opponent Kayla Vaeth ended the first set with a 25-22 Shorewomen win.
Coach Jaime Leventry said, “I tell our ladies no matter what, the set is never over until it’s over. I preach that to them each day so that I can instill in them discipline and a winning attitude.”
Winning this first set was huge for the Shorewomen as junior Isabella Sansanelli said, “We knew had some slip ups toward the end of the set, but we fought through and prevailed. Everyone stepped up and did what had to be done.”
For the Stevenson Mustangs, this was only the fifth set the Mustangs had lost all season.
In the second set, the Mustangs turned things around quickly. Stevenson never trailed and cruised to a 25-7 set victory on the strength of .333 hitting as a team.
The set started off with opponent Victoria Prokic lifting her team to, 7-1, as she had five kills herself. Towards the middle of the set, the Shorewomen made a small push. However, it just was not enough as the Mustangs came out and ended on fire.
Senior captain Cassie Kowalski said, “I know how much my teammates wanted it and I wanted it for them as well. I loved how they all kept their heads up and continued to battle.”
The third set started off very similar to the second. The Mustangs came out with intensity, fire, and a will to win. The set started off with the Mustangs on top 8-3. That is when competition started going on as the Shorewomen competed hard to fight back and narrow the gap to three.
The Mustangs held a 13-10 lead in the third set before scoring nine of the next 10 points to build a 22-11 advantage on a kill by Leftridge, before going on to wrap up a 25-13 set win.
Stevenson had a 7-5 lead in the fourth before running off 12 of the next 13 points to build a 19-6 cushion on a kill. They went on to take the final fourth set, 25-10.
During the second match up of the day, the Shorewomen faced off against Misericordia.
During the first set of play, the Shorewomen came out like they knew they could win and was up big, 10-3. 3 more dominating kills by junior Laura Cochrane put the Shorewomen up 13-3.
Towards the middle of the set, the two teams were going back and forth, as it was all knotted up at 15-15 apiece.
Cochrane said, “Here is where we understood that we had to push through and fight for the win. It wasn’t going to be easy and we knew this, it’s just a matter of who wanted it more.”
The Shorewomen held a 20-19 lead in the first set before the Cougars ran off the last six to take the set, 25-20, on an attack error made by the Shorewomen.
Coach Leventry said, “Similar to our first opponent earlier, we have to learn to never get complacent, and always have the mindset to destroy our opponent.”
In the second set, a 6-1 run gave Misericordia a 23-13 cushion. The Cougars later won the set on a kill by Curcio for the 25-18 set win.
Although Misericordia had a 10-point cushion, the Shorewomen fought back hard and rallied off five straight points, three of which were aces by sophomore Jensyn Hartzell.
Hartzell said, “It always feels good when you can help put your team in positions to win and be successful. Although we didn’t win the set, we definitely showed our will to never give up.”
In the third set, the Cougars held a 14-12 lead before five straight points by the Shorewomen gave them a 17-14 lead on a Smith kill.
“It was all about fighting and doing anything we needed to do to win the set,” said Smith.
WC then held a 21-16 lead before the Cougars rallied to cut the deficit to 21-20 on a Merritt kill. The Shorewomen closed out the third set with four straight points, three out of the four from Sansanelli, taking the third set, 25-20.
The Shorewomen had a 20-19 late in a back-and-forth fourth set. The Cougars scored the next four points, taking a 23-20 advantage on a Pyfer kill. Misericordia also led, 24-21, before the Shorewomen scored the next two points, closing to 24-23 on a block by Cochrane and Isabella Sansanelli. An attack error on the next point, however, gave Misericordia the win.
The Shorewomen look on to the next Centennial Conference match up, where they will face #23 Johns Hopkins on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7p.m., in Cain Gymnasium.