For the Yellow Jacket
The Waynesburg volleyball team (9-18, 3-14) never scored more than 15 points for any set in its previous matchup against the Chatham Cougars (16-6, 11-4).
On senior day this past Saturday, however, the Yellow Jackets battled with the Cougars in each set by scoring at least 20 points apiece.
“We were motivated by our seniors,” freshman defensive specialist Paige Cousley said. “We all wanted to work hard for them, so I think that helped us.”
The Yellow Jackets found themselves down 19-16 late in the first set, but four straight points would put Waynesburg in front 20-19.
After the teams resumed play from a Chatham timeout, the Cougars scored six straight points to steal the first set 25-20.
“I think overall we played pretty hard, we just didn’t capitalize on opportunities where we could have gained more points,” Cousley said.
Sophomore outside hitter Amelia Bogovich, who led the Cougars with 10 kills in the match, had the final kill of the second set to put Chatham up 2-0 with a 25-22 win.
The Yellow Jackets, however, turned things around in the third set by squashing the Cougars 25-17 after senior outside hitter Hannah Buhr sealed the deal with a kill of her own.
“She’s very consistent, which is something our young players need to find,” Waynesburg head coach Emily Taylor said.
The fourth set was controlled by Waynesburg, keeping the Cougars in check by obtaining the 20-17 lead and threatening to go to a fifth set. Five consecutive points, however, put Chatham on top 22-20, and the Cougars would eventually steal the set victory 25-23 and the match victory 3-1.
“Overall, I am happy that we played much better this time around against the Cougars,” Taylor said. “However, I am a firm believer that if you can win a set you can win the whole match, so eventually taking sets from teams isn’t going to be enough.”
Senior right side hitter Mya Brooks made the most of her senior day by achieving a match-high 11 kills for the Yellow Jackets, and senior libero Alyson Johnson added a total of 24 digs to the stat sheet.
Cousley had 32 assists for the match, accumulating a total of 66 assists over the course of Waynesburg’s past two matches.
“Being able to get my feet to every ball, just being ready for everything,” Cousley said. “Our defense helped me a lot by giving me the opportunity to do so.”
In addition to Bogovich, freshman outside hitter Kaley Davis also contributed 10 kills for the Cougars.
Although the match resulted in the eighth straight loss for the Yellow Jackets, Taylor was especially proud of seniors Buhr, Johnson, Brooks, and opposite side hitter Cam Shaffer and their impact on the volleyball program.
“These seniors have been huge in starting the rebuild of our program,” Taylor said. “Without their buy-in, I don’t think we’d be sitting here with the record we have today. I have a lot of respect for each of them.”
Waynesburg plays its final regular season match against the PAC-best Westminster Titans on Thursday, Oct. 28. The game starts at 7 p.m. from the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.