Wildcat Volleyball Brings the Energy

Westminster defeats John Burroughs in a revenge match on home court.

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Mia Scheulen

The girls celebrate after Emma Fairchild, junior, gets a kill.

Last night, on September 9th, the Westminster volleyball team faced up against John Burroughs for a rematch after losing to them in the Visitation tournament earlier in the season in a “best of three” matchup. This time, however, they got the home court advantage.

“The last time we played Burroughs, we were definitely lacking some energy, but last night we were ready to prove to ourselves, the coaches, and the parents that we were the better team,” said Hailey Pritchett, senior.

The Wildcats knew that they needed to come out strong and take an early lead in order to build up their momentum, and that’s exactly what they did.

We just played our game and we played as a team. Our communication, hustle, and discipline was all on point.”

Madison Schofield, senior, started off hot with back to back blocks to give the Cats the first few points of the game. As for the rest of the set, the score shifted back and forth between the Cats and the Bombers with help from immediate standouts Shelby Truitt, Emma Fairchild, and Avery Stanfill, juniors, on the home team and Vannessa Polk, 6’5 senior and Pepperdine commit, on the opposing team. Westminster was able to secure the first set 25 to 17.

However, in the second set, the momentum took a turn due to several blocks and kills by Polk to put pressure on the Westminster back row. After one too many dropped balls, Head Coach Ben Briney was forced to call two timeouts. Nonetheless, Burroughs kept their foot on the gas and claimed the second set 25 to 21.

“Knowing how talented Polk is, we were all mentally prepared for her to get some kills because with a player like that it’s inevitable, but we knew that the key to the win would be to shut her down and keep our heads in the game,” said Pritchett.

The junior trio (Truitt, Fairchild, and Stanfill) took back control of the third set and reclaimed the energy for the Cats. Pritchett stayed consistent throughout the game, giving Truitt and Fairchild ample opportunities for strong hits. It was now Burroughs’ turn to call a timeout and try to pull themselves together, but the Wildcats didn’t let up and dominated the third set 25 to 14.

Abby Siess, junior, in serve receive ready to pass the opponent’s serve. (Mia Scheulen)

Westminster now needed one more set in order to win the game. Abby Siess, junior, gave the Cats a quick lead with some strong serving to add on to an already impressive performance. Stanfill also contributed from the serving line with two consecutive aces to force the Bombers to call a timeout. Polk continued to dominate the net and caused Westminster’s back row to struggle a bit, but Tatum Osmon, senior, stepped up and made some nice blocks to prevent a comeback. Despite Burroughs going on a small run, the Cats were eventually able to secure the set 25 to 19 and take home a well deserved victory.

“We just played our game and we played as a team. Our communication, hustle, and discipline was all on point,” said Pritchett.

The talent-loaded Wildcat team now claims a 4-1 record and has high hopes for the rest of the season.

“After losing in the fifth set in the district finals last year, I know that every girl on varsity can’t wait to get back to that final game and do what we should have done last season,” said Pritchett.