Following an opening night triumph Wednesday over the La Roche Redhawks the Waynesburg Volleyball team took a road trip to Latrobe, PA. to take part in the Saint Vincent Bearcat Challenge. The Jackets will play four games over two days in the tournament.
First up in game one was the Allegheny Gators who the Jackets will face twice this season with a rematch set for Sep. 17th in Meadville, PA.
All three sets were tightly contested with the scores going 25-19, 26-24, and 25-21 in favor of Allegheny each time.
Waynesburg head coach Emily Taylor believes the Jackets made one too many missteps to overcome the Gators.
“We played hard in our match against Allegheny,” Taylor said. “They were a good team and moved the ball around fast on offense. We just made too many of our own errors that match.”
One notable performance in the loss to Allegheny came from Sophomore Gillian Mulcahy. Mulcahy led the Jackets defense with a team high 19 digs to keep them in the contest.
Entering match two against Pitt Greensburg changes were made to the Waynesburg lineup, particularly at the outside hitter and setter spots.
Those switches paid off as Waynesburg bested the Bobcats 3-0 with set scores of 25-19, 25-12, and 25-22 to win in a sweep.
Two players caught Taylor’s attention in game two, those being Freshmen Madisen Dayton, and Sophomore Mickayla Baniaga.
“I think Madi Dayton stepped up in a big way as an outside hitter,” Taylor said. “She was aggressive and worked very hard to find the floor around a big block. Mickayla brought some good defense along with great setting at the setting position.”
Another Jacket standout in the Pitt Greensburg match was Junior Kayla Stohan. Taylor was impressed by her strong showing.
“She stepped up and played very aggressive at the net with 9 kills , 0 errors, on 11 attempts for a 0.818 % hitting percentage,” Taylor said.
Waynesburg’s 2-1 record is the best start for the Jackets Volleyball program since 2013. Day two of the Bearcat Challenge will see action against Pitt Bradford and the Terriers of Hiram College in Ohio.
Following day two Waynesburg will have one week off before facing Pitt Greensburg once again and meeting Penn State Greater Allegheny for the first time on Saturday Sep. 11.