It looked like maybe an upset would ensue as Waynesburg University led 18-13 in the first set, but after a retaliation set that Westminster won by a 25-8 score in set two tied it 1-1, Waynesburg [2-13, 0-5] would eventually fall to the Titans [16-1, 5-0] in what head coach Hayley Kirby felt was one of the Jackets most impressive matches this season.
“We played really well, it’s one of the better matches we’ve played,” Kirby said. “The score didn’t reflect that too much but [we] played really really well.”
This would be the second time in as many years that the Jackets took a set from Westminster. For Kirby, watching her team get progressively better is no surprise, as she believes Westminster is beatable despite its record.
“I think they expected to get crushed, I told them beforehand ‘yes they’re a good team but they’re not the greatest team in the world.’ They’re not what everyone makes them seem to be,” Kirby said. “So I think that helped them a lot, and for some reason we play better against better teams.”
In the third set, the Jackets led 15-11, but their lead would quickly vanish. Westminster went on a 7-2 run to retake the lead, 18-17. Finally, in the fourth set the Jackets had an 8-3 lead, but eight straight points from Westminster gave the Titans the lead once more and they didn’t look back. For Kirby, many people doubt her team’s ability to compete at high levels, but a match like this just proves that all the noise surrounding the team is overblown.
“It shows we can [win],” Kirby said.“I think a lot of people think we can’t and it shows we can take a set from one of the top teams, we can compete with a lot of these teams in the conference which is something that hasn’t happened before, so I think it shows we can do this.”
Waynesburg is still looking for its first win against Westminster since Nov. 4, 2005 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference tournament.
The Jackets were led by juniors Hannah Colvin and Mya Brooks who had 11 and nine kills, respectively.
Colvin and Alyson Johnson both had 16 digs while Brooks added 12. The Jackets will be at home Oct. 9 to take on Grove City, a team they were unable to take a single set from last year.
“If we played like we did Saturday against other teams in the conference, we’ll do really well,” Kirby said.