Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

In the absence of Michelle Powers, last year’s PSAC Rookie of the Year and leader of this year’s team, the players have really banned together the past few games and stepped it up in extraordinary fashion, leading the Lady Rams to only their sixth 20-win season in the school’s history. “The team as a whole is playing high level volleyball and all of the members of the team are stepping up and producing,” said Coach Kassie Bellaver.

West Chester has won five straight matches since Powers went down with a torn knee. The past three victories have been three match shutouts.

Thursday night, the Lady Rams took on Wilmington at home in a non-league match. The talented Wilmington squad with an impressive 15-11 record was no match for the likes of West Chester, as the Rams walked out in three consecutive sets, allowing the opponents no more then fifteen on the night.

The girls strong middle showed off once again, as Lacie Becher recorded eight more blocks and Megan Musselman led with 11 kills. Lisa Yeasted did it everywhere with four kills, 30 assists and nine digs.

Saturday brought with it another PSAC East conference match-up, this time against Kutztown. West Chester was able to take three straight sets easily against the division rival Golden Bears, boosting their conference record to 8-1, giving them a solid hold on second place in the division, still one game back of the Lock Haven Bald Eagles, who are responsible for the Golden Rams only conference loss on the season.

Megan Musselman led the teams scoring again with 12 kills, with Lacie Becher adding eight of her own. Karly Lotkowski represented the big middle this time with five blocks. Yeasted notched 34 assists, and Kyla Beck led the team with 11 digs.

Coach Bellaver attributed the teams success this season to the team stepping up and working together.

“Karly Lotkowski and Lacie Becher have really stepped up their game and are.providing a huge block for the middle,” she remarked.

“Seniors Megan Musselman, Jacqui Vivanco, Jenna Burd, and Lisa Yeasted are leading the way with their experience,” added Coach. “Other impact players include Kayla Beck, Lisa Campbell, Alyssa Brown, and Kellie Brumbaugh.”

And it’s not just the starting rotation that has carried this team, they have a lot of depth.

“Nora Jingeleski and Kyra Yost have been huge off the bench and the remaining team members Allison Focht, Ashley Focht, and Bridget Kelley have all helped reach the 20-win mark,” stated Bellaver.

West Chester has a solid hold on second place in the division, and still has a shot at taking the lead in the upcoming weeks. November 4 is the second meeting between the Golden Rams and Bald Eagles, most likely the most important regular season game for West Chester this year. A win there could give them a share of the PSAC East lead going into the playoffs, which begin November 11. West Chester will be hosting that game in Hollinger Fieldhouse, given their record and standing.

The team’s success the past few weeks is a boost of encouragement in light of the loss of Michelle Powers. Coach Bellaver has done a great job creating a unity amongst the players, and their ability to play together as a team like they have should scare the opponents coming up.

Tuesday, the girls are set to take on Cheyney, a conference rival who remains unbeaten so far this year. The remainder of the week features three non league games, before the all important battle with Lock Haven in two weeks.

“We are looking to end the season on a winning streak,” added Coach Bellaver.

West Chester has already made its mark in history by becoming a 20-win team. Their next goal is to go into the playoffs and go farther then last year, ultimately becoming a PSAC champion.

Ryan Frisco is a second-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RF648257@wcupa.edu.

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