Sporting WCA

Volleyball Narrowly Advances to Semifinal

Sam Dare

Today the Wildcats won the final two points of the third and final set to win their match against Francis Howell North and advance to Wednesday’s district semifinal against the number one seed Marquette.

While it eventually came down to the wire, Westminster was in complete control all throughout the first set, as they took the first point and never looked back, winning by a score of 25-11.

“We came out with lots of positive energy and played well during our first set,” said senior captain Elisabeth Sems.

The second set was much more trying, with both teams clawing for a lead throughout, but eventually Francis Howell North pulled away with a lead, defeating the Cats 25-19.

“Unfortunately the second game we let our consistent [play] slip,” said junior Avery Engelmeyer. Westminster had the exact same number of wins in one less game than Francis Howell, and it was evident in the last two sets how evenly matched the two teams were.

Credit where it is due, Elisabeth Sems noted how the opposition ‘fought especially hard in the second set.”

While the Cats were down in the second, they came back in the third ready to fight for a win. They got out to a quick 3-1 lead, and any momentum Francis Howell was harboring from the second set quickly disappeared.

The momentum continued to sway back and forth all throughout the last set, and the most exciting part of the match was in the last five minutes.

The game was tied, 20-20, and there was no clear winner. Westminster scored, then Howell countered with a score of their own. Seconds later, the reverse happened. The score was tied again, 22-22. Westminster took the lead. Francis Howell tied it. The next two points were to decide the whole match.

Westminster scored the twenty-forth point on Engelmeyer’s team leading 13th kill, and Westminster was a point away. The next point was quickly won by Westminster as well, and the team broke into celebration, with the starters jumping up and down and the bench rushing forward to join in.

On the close victory in the third set, Engelmyer said,”We battled it out in the third and came back with a huge victory.” The star players were able to make big plays when they needed them most, as the three juniors who currently lead the team in kills (Madeline Williams, Avery Engelmeyer, and Hilary Hightower) combined for 30 kills.

The Cats will need to build off this strong performance in order to play well in the semifinal, and they will not have much time to prepare for an already tough matchup against the one seed, Marquette, as they play again this Wednesday.

When asked about his, senior Erin Galakatos said the cats would “be able to build off the adrenaline from  this game,” noting also that “Marquette will put up a good fight, but districts is all or nothing, so [the team] will be leaving it all on the court and giving 100%.”

Come out and cheer on the Volleyball team as they play in the district semifinals on Wednesday at Parkway West at 4:15.