For the first time, all fall sports teams are playoff bound


Women’s Volleyball. Photo Credit: Chatham Athletics

Carson Gates

For the first time in Chatham University’s history, all of the fall sports qualified for their respective playoffs. Here’s a look at the different paths each of them took to get to the postseason.


The volleyball team concluded its last regular-season game on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Westminster. The Cougars finished up PAC play with a 13-5 record going into the postseason. 

The volleyball team added head coach Joseph Bortak after the 2017 season. That year was the last time the volleyball team made the playoffs. Bortak and his team have grown since his first year at the helm. Volleyball attained a better winning percentage each season under Bortak. The volleyball team has finally earned its playoff spot. 

Bortak contributes this season’s success to the “hardworking student-athletes who want to get better each day.” 

Having his team “buy-in” was something important to Bortak. Chemistry is something Bortak insisted was a major component in his team finishing in the top three. 

The volleyball team is led by senior Emily Richie. The four-year starter leads the Cougars in kills and points. 

While it is hard to not think about future possible playoff matchups, Bortak is trying to not look too far ahead. 

“We are looking to take it one day at a time,” Bortak said.  

Bortak and his squad have been playing a three-game a week schedule and were looking to secure time off with a first-round bye. The Cougars just missed out on that bye and will be hosting Geneva on Nov. 2

If the Cougars win, their semi-final bout will be on Nov. 4 against Bethany. The PAC finals will take place on Nov. 6. 

Women’s Soccer 

Women’s soccer advances to the playoffs as the third seed. The Cougars lost on a tiebreaker for second place to Grove City. Finishing PAC play with a 7-2 record, the women’s soccer team is looking to repeat as champions. 

Head coach Betsy Warren is focusing on her squad’s next opponent. Even though her Cougars were the higher seed this past Saturday, she was not going to be taking the game lightly. 

“When you get to must-win situations, it doesn’t matter who you play,” Warren said. 

Women’s soccer faced Geneva on Saturday. Warren was not going to look past this game.

“Geneva is a team that last year gave us a good fight and they come on strong at the end of the year”  

The Cougars thrashed Geneva by a score of 4-0.

Women’s Soccer. Photo Credit: Chatham Athletics

Warren believed that much of the team’s accomplishments this season have come from depth. Warren is proud of how her team has rallied together after overcoming injuries and adversity all year.

The women’s soccer team is led by senior Morgan Anderson, who is leading in goals, shots and points. While in net, Tyler Colburn, ‘22 is looking to continue her regular-season success. 

The women’s soccer team is moving on to the semi-finals on Nov. 3 at Grove City. The team is looking to go back to the finals which will be on Nov. 6. 

Men’s Soccer 

For the first time in program history, the men’s soccer team went to the postseason. Finishing the year with a 6-3 PAC record, the Cougars locked up the fourth position in the playoffs.  

Just making the postseason is enough for head coach Keith Danley. 

Danley believes this is just the start for the program; he wants to be in the playoffs consistently. He’s confident in his squad’s ability.

“I’ll take our group any day,” Danley said. 

The Cougars have victories over the top two ranked teams in the PAC. Danley knows his team has the potential to beat anyone on any given day.

Men’s Soccer. Photo Credit: Chatham Athletics

Danley and his team faced Bethany in the first round on Oct. 30. 

The last time the men’s soccer team played Bethany, the game ended with a Cougars victory by a score of 2-1. The game got physical as it had a total of nine yellow cards and one red. Danley was expecting this same level of emotion on Saturday. 

“Playoff games are always emotional,” he said.

The Cougar’s season came to a close on Oct. 30, losing a close-fought game with a score of 2-1.

Cross Country

The men’s cross country team wrapped up its PAC season this past Saturday at PAC Championship meet at Eden Hall. The Cougars as a team finished in sixth place. They were led by first-year John Matics. The team had a total of three runners finish in the top 50.

The women’s team also met at Eden Hall for its PAC Championship meet on Oct. 30. The women as a group finished in fifth place. The Cougars were led by senior Esmee de Cortie who finished in the top 25. A total of four runners for Chatham finished in the top 50 for the race.

The next meet for both squads will be NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals, which will be held Nov. 12.