Volleyball looks for change of pace in PAC action

Picked to finish in last place again in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, head coach Hayley Kirby and the Waynesburg University volleyball team are ready to make some noise starting this weekend in Pittsburgh. 

“I want to shock some people,” Kirby said. “They don’t think that we are going to be any good and it’s just because that’s how it’s always been. Waynesburg hasn’t been good for 14 years and I just don’t think they expect it. So, we are going to compete, have some close games and beat some [teams] that people don’t think we can beat.”

This is Kirby’s second year at Waynesburg, so she now has players that she got to recruit and believes that the team is finally starting to develop solid chemistry compared to previous seasons.

“In the past, the girls just never really liked each other,” she said. “They were kind of just thrown together and were told ‘hey go play a game.’” 

Despite her optimism, year two under Kirby hasn’t started too strong, as the Jackets are currently 0-6 in non-conference play. The team will start its conference slate Saturday, Sept. 14, with matches against Geneva and Chatham.

“They play the same teams [as us],” said Kirby. “So, I have watched [Chatham] play Franciscan. I haven’t got to watch Geneva at all because they haven’t really put anything up.”

Geneva is 6-3 so far this season with Waynesburg being its first conference match as well. Chatham is 2-4 overall and also starts its PAC part of the schedule against Waynesburg this weekend in Pittsburgh. 

“[Chatham] looks very similar to what they did last year,” she said. “So, I think that we can beat them. I know that Geneva lost its best outside hitter from last year and other than that I don’t really know what they have.”

Kirby added that the team’s goal is to have 15 wins overall at the end of the season. They would have to win at least 15 of their remaining matches this season to accomplish that goal.

“We are off to a bad start so I don’t know if that is going to happen,” Kirby said. “We won one PAC game last year, so that was nice, but obviously I would like to win more.”

Kirby’s other goal is to get the team into the PAC playoffs this season. To accomplish that goal, the Jackets would have to finish in one of the top six spots in the PAC standings.

“I want to make the tournament and I think we can if we put it all together. I think once we keep playing more we are going to figure it out,” she said. 

Waynesburg’s first match Saturday is against Geneva at 11 a.m. and the match against Chatham is scheduled for 1 p.m.