After capturing the third tournament in as many weekends, The West Chester Lady Rams volleyball squadron assured their dominance outside their conference, and sent a message to competitors within the PSAC. Sure, they beat three teams in five games that came into this week with a combined zero wins, but when you decimate, pick apart and embarrass 18 girls on a court, something great might be evident.
On Friday and Saturday, West Chester defended their home court, by beating Goldey Beacom College twice, 6-0 (30-12, 30-17, 30-12, 30-10, 30-9, 30-12) and Nyack College twice, 6-0 (30-8, 30-7, 30-16, 30-20, 30-19, 30-14). If you’re not familiar with volleyball scoring, that pretty good.
However, when you play half the time with reserves and backups, that’s pretty great.
Two days earlier, West Chester decimated Holy Family 3-0 (30-24, 30-10, and 30-15) in front hundreds at Hollinger Field House making a statement playing in their first game at home. West Chester not only beat the teams, they embarassed them.
In the first match against Nyack, the Warriors won four service points compared to West Chester’s 63 service wins.
Throughout the five games the Lady Rams looked perfect. They look unstoppable. They looked like PSAC champions, possibly sending a stiff spike right in the face of those that picked them second in the PSAC east, behind East Stroudsburg, who has sputtered to a 2-4 record in early matches. In the PSAC West, the preseason favorite, Lock Haven, has lost six out of seven games throwing the preseason expectations up in the air.
“After following this team for years, any team can come out of this division and win,” a West Chester supporter said.
Throughout this early season success, a mix of first-year students and veteran presences has guided this team to a school record 13 straight wins.
Fourth-year player Kristen Decker leads the squad offensively, leading the team in kills in three of the five of the contests, last week. Decker was recently named PSAC player of the week. Through 13 matches, Decker had amassed 152 kills and 20 service aces, both catergories lead the team.
West Chester isn’t just an offense powerhouse though; their defense has seemed to play an equally crucial role. Coming into the week, the Lady Rams accumulated 786 digs, averaging over 20 per game.
Third-year player Jacqueline Vivanco led the team heading into the Holy Family contest leading the team with 163 digs from the libero position. Decker, Ashley Zech and Lisa Yeasted also have accumulated at least 100 digs.
Yeasted, however, is the glue that keeps this team together. As the team’s setter, Yeasted does something point in and point out that coaches dream of. Yeasted through nine games, posted over 90 percent of the teams assists scoring 311 tallies. Assists are not a stat that jumps out reading “MVP,” but when a player sets a ball perfectly for every play, some recognition is deserved.
However, the scariest part of the team is the youth that surrounds the older players. Only two Lady Ram’s are seniors, Decker and Zech.
A team with seven first-year players has had no growing pains. First-year players Michelle Powers, Lacie Becher and Ashley Focht have made substantial contributions. These young Lady Rams only add to the danger opponent’s face.
True, this team has decimated less potent programs this week, but they are not without unimpressive wins. Two weeks ago, West Chester knocked off volleyball power Dowling who was among preseason favorites. The also topped West rival Edinboro who raked in 26 wins last year.
But West Chester’s biggest test may come this week as they play East Stroudsburg at home on Tuesday and at Kutztown on Saturday. Sandwiched between the PSAC East contests is a non-league game at Felician College. ESU was the preseason favorite and Kutztown has started 8-2 out of the gate.
The Golden Rams have looked nothing but gold and they look to continue pace in their record setting season and potential championship season.
Frank Stern is a fourth-year Literature major. He can be reached at FS628548@wcupa.edu.