By Austin Allen
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College Women’s Volleyball team saw success on Saturday, with victories against two Maryland schools on Ed Cole court, despite losing their home-opener to Catholic University on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
In the first match of the day, the Shorewomen swept host St. Mary’s College of Maryland 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 28-26), which was their first win over the Seahawks in over 15 years. Then, the Shorewomen took on Hood College, and found victory at 3-1 (25-9, 25-14, 18-25, 25-18).
Ending a longtime drought against the Seahawks, the Shorewomen were determined to knock out the Maryland rivalry. The Shorewomen began the match strong as they went up 4-0 against the Seahawks to give them some momentum.
Toward the end of the first set, the match got down to a 22-22 tie. The Shorewomen took control and ended up winning the final three points to break the tie that was the result of an attack error by the Seahawks. Winning the first set was huge for the Shorewomen, as it helped boost the team’s confidence going into the second set.
Junior outside hitter Abby Smith said, “Once we pulled together and won that first set, the whole team gained confidence and it felt that we all wanted it more than St. Mary’s.”
During the second set, the Shorewomen began with that same intensity and focus, as they dominated the majority of the set. The set started out with the Shorewomen on top 7-3, then there was a 15-15 tie.
Senior leader Olivia Portera said, “I knew I had to rally our team because I felt that we could run away with this set and that could set the tone for the final set if we won.”
Portera’s leadership showed as the Shorewomen won 10 of the last 14 points to come away with the 25-19 win.
The match ended with a clutch solo block made by sophomore Jenna Daunoras, who said, “It always feels good when you can help to get a win, and we knew what this win in the second set would do for us going forward to the final set.”
In the third, St. Mary’s were the ones who came out with grit and intensity, as they were not going to go down easy. The Seahawks led 24-17 following a kill by opponent Kyra Feinaeur. The game was looking like it was going to be extended until the Shorewomen ended the match with an 11-2 run. This was huge, as WC won eight straight points to take a 25-24 lead on a junior Laura Cochrane kill. Coming down to the wire, tied at 26-26, Cochrane tallied a finisher to make it 27-26.
Senior captain, Cassie Kowalski, who is sidelined with an injury, said, “It was so great to see my teammates pull together as a team and remain focus throughout all the sets and never give up.”
The Shorewomen sealed the final set on a junior Maggie Pietrucha kill, completing a 3-0 sweep against the Seahawks.
Amongst some of the outstanding players of the match was Cochrane, who led her team with a career high 10 kills.
Cochrane said, “Whatever it takes has been my mentality and I just pass that on to my teammates each game. We have a great group of women in our locker room that never give up and always look to get better each and every day we step onto the court.”
The Shorewomen will face their next opponent on Wed. Sept. 18 versus Goucher for another non-conference matchup.