(Oct. 25, 2013) The Worcester Prep and Chesapeake Christian volleyball teams went head-to-head last Tuesday in the semifinal round of the Peninsula Athletic Christian Conference tournament.
The Crusaders won the first game on their home court in Easton, 25-15, but the Worcester Prep Mallards fought back and earned a 25-15 victory in the second contest.
Prep struggled to play as a cohesive unit and poor passing and serving led to the group’s demise.
Chesapeake Christian took the third and fourth games, 25-23 and 25-19, respectively, to win the competition.
Junior Mattie Maull was the top producer for Worcester at the net. She tallied three kills and blocked two hits. Freshman Karlie Southcomb had three kills and a block. Prep senior Claire Stickler, who received All-Conference honors, logged two aces and three digs.
The Mallards lost 11 matches before winning the final two of the regular season “when things really started to make sense and click,” said first-year Assistant Coach Cheryl Brown. “The girls played and had fun. The wins happened due to their commitment to play as a team by giving their best joint effort.”
First-year Head Coach Karen Hammer said her players’ level of performance improved from the start of the season, which kicked off in mid-August, to the end.
“We had hoped for a better season, but we had injuries and illnesses and other schedule conflicts that pushed us back during practices and games,” she said. “My words of wisdom or encouragement were to ‘erase I can’t from your vocabulary.’ I would hope some of them can and will remember those words one day. I hope they will take this year’s season and be a stronger and more passionate team next year.”
Added Brown, “The team is just in the beginning stages, starting with the basics especially communication. Some individuals can celebrate personal accomplishments for their stats and knowledge gained about the sport.”
The first year coaching the squad was a learning experience, Hammer and Brown said.
“It was a great opportunity to share our love/passion for the sport,” Brown added.
Three senior captains–Stickler, Bethany Wolpin and McKenna Shanahan–will graduate in May. This was only the third year the volleyball program has been offered at the school. The seniors have competed since the program’s inception.
Underclassmen made up the majority of Hammer’s roster this year, which bodes well for the future as they will return in 2014 with a season of experience under their belts.