Cougars Drop Second Game of the Night

By: Derek Schrank

After a match win against Mount Aloysius on Wednesday October 18, the Cougars took a short break before facing off against the Westminster Titans that same night.
The first set started off back and forth for both sides. Both teams saw their share of points, with the opponents holding the lead but the cougars were always close behind with a bounce back point. Chatham called a timeout in the first set after a long swing of opponent points. They followed the timeout with a run of unanswered points for themselves. Justyne Lasher took a few kills followed by an ace by Mckenzie Bates and the Cougars regained the lead at 13-12. The set remained close with the cougars holding a tight lead at 19-17. The ball continued to take bounces for both teams finding a tie game at 23. Chatham couldn’t find an offensive bounce after that and ended the set with a 25-23 loss.
Rallies were bouncing on each side of the net, before the Cougars took an unanswered run to see a 9-6 lead in set two. Westminster found a run for themselves, but the Cougars had built a big enough lead to hold on to it at 15-12. Westminster had another run, this time a 4-1 run to get back in the game. Kills kept falling each way and as Westminster called a timeout as Chatham took a 21-20 lead. An ace for Brooke Petrillo ended the set for the cougars taking a 25-23 win.
The Westminster Titans stormed in the third set for a 10-5 lead. Chatham continued to struggle throughout the set, and after a Westminster 5-2 run, the Cougars stayed down15-7. Chatham blocks were falling the wrong way, and their kills were being blocked as well. It simply wasn’t going the right way for the Cougars. After a timeout while down 17-9 the Cougars managed to rally a few points but the Titans were able to hang on to a steady 21-15 lead. Though the Cougars put up a fight they weren’t able to come back. Westminster was able to caress a 25-17 set win. “The ball just didn’t fall on the right side of net for us,” Coach Dylan Lasher said.
The fourth set started out better for the Cougars as they were able to hold points with Westminster for 6-6 tie early on. Chatham found run of points with kills, blocks and some help from the refs, which sprung them out to a 13-11 lead. Westminster found the better side of back and forth rallies and pulled out to a one point, 18-17 lead. Westminster rallied ahead in the final points and put the Cougars away 25-19, and won the match three sets to one.
Even though the Cougars fell in four sets they still had much to be happy about. “We followed a 300 hitting percentage with a 260. A team like Westminster that is very impressive,” Coach Lasher said. “Westminster spreads the ball out really well and we matched up against it. This was one of the best matches we played all year, I couldn’t be happier.”
Sophomore Justyne Lasher followed her 15 kill game prior, with 19 kills against the Westminster titans, as Junior Maggie Fleiner put up 10 kills of her own. Setting up the offense was Mckenzie Bates and Brooke Petrillo as they dished out a combined 49 assists. Offensively and defensively Coach Lasher was pleased at the effort of his team.
The Cougars remain in seventh place in the conference after the two games. They look to bounce back against Grove City this Saturday at 1:00 pm in another PAC match-up, as they try to get in the playoff picture. “These next games are very important. Grove City is currently in the sixth spot, if we can beat them we would jump to the sixth spot,” Lasher said.