A Look at Volleyball’s Midseason: Developing and moving forward against Chatham

From September 20, 2022

By Ethan Spozarski

WAYNESBURG (Sept. 20) – The Waynesburg University Yellow Jackets volleyball team lost to the Chatham University Cougars in three sets Tuesday. 

Chatham won all three sets by at least nine points. Waynesburg freshman Paige Mortimore, however, said that doesn’t reflect how good this Waynesburg team is. 

“I feel that over the past few games we really have developed in the aspect of a team,” Mortimore said. “We have learned to come together and support each other even when we are down a few points. Working together has really helped us to execute in games even if it doesn’t result in the outcome that we want.” 

Mortimore had three kills during Tuesday’s contest. She mentioned that despite the loss, the team is heading in the right direction. 

“I think that we worked together great as a team and our offense worked in different shots to try to get Chatham out of the system,” Mortimore said. “We were able to communicate well with each other despite the loud atmosphere of the gym.”

Chatham, however, was able to pull away and establish a strong offense. The Cougars scored 53 points on Tuesday. Freshman Alyssa Leskovac led the team in kills with 12 and had 11 digs. Senior Shaleah Pepperman had 30 assists along with a block and eight digs. 

“I think we played cleaner and with a little more drive even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” Waynesburg head coach Emily Grossman said. “We switched some things up and we saw that those changes can work so we’re going to keep giving it our all.”

So far this season the team’s overall record is 2-9, however, that doesn’t define who this team is, Grossman added. 

We are developing,” Grossman said. “Our roster is young so growing pains are normal. We have great leaders that show up every day and set the tone.” 

Going into the Yellow Jackets’ next match Grossman mentioned that there are always things to clean up between matches.

“We’re going to work on playing smarter, not harder,” Grossman said. “If we can step up and place the ball more strategically, we’ll create more opportunities to find the floor.”

She also mentioned sophomore Jordan Stein, and how big of a role she’s played on the team this year. 

“I think Stein stepped up,” Grossman said. “She’s taken on a big role in being our libero and she’s working hard to keep balls up. We have to work a little harder to put them away. We did change our defense going into this match and she really stepped up in making sure her teammates were getting to their spots and talking with our hitters.”

Senior Alexys Marsh had two kills, one ace, two blocks, two assists, and seven digs. 

“We really learned to play through a lot of adversity during the game,” Marsh said. “We showed our resilience and had each other’s backs. Although the outcome was not in our favor, we are showing great improvement and are excited for PAC matches.”

Marsh continued to say this team is coming together off the court as well. 

“As far as off the court, this team has been so focused on remembering why we are here and who we are playing for,” Marsh said. “We connect as friends, and it makes them feel like family. Win or lose we do it together, that’s the most important thing.”

The Lady Yellow Jackets head to Thiel College to take on the Tomcats Thursday, Oct. 6. Start time is at 7 p.m.