News Westmoreland Defensive Effort Holds Off Gc - Garrett College
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Campus News

September 29th, 2022

Westmoreland defensive effort holds off GC

Lady Lakers competitive in all three sets of volleyball setback

The Garrett College women's volleyball team certainly tested the Wolfpack's defense. Unfortunately for the Lady Lakers, Westmoreland County Community College aced that test, paving the way for a 25-19, 25-19 and 25-18 victory Wednesday night.

"We've got some girls playing really good defense and transitioning well from offense to defense," said Westmoreland head coach Michael Palaschak. "The key [to winning matches] is to transition well and not make unforced errors."

The Wolfpack (3-6) finished with 22 digs, including six each from Sarah Fulton and Bryn Shearer (two aces, two blocks) and five apiece from Emma Mullett and Haley Maines (match-high 18 assists). Westmoreland's 22-15 advantage in digs played a key role in the final result, according to GC head coach Brittany Jackson.

"They were consistently putting the ball back in play and covering well," said Jackson of the Wolfpack. "And their third ball over was usually hard and in. Our third ball over wasn't in very often."

The Lady Lakers (0-7) were also hurt by 13 service errors and 12 serve-receive errors in what was still their most competitive match of the season.

"Service errors killed us," acknowledged GC assistant coach Josh Hanson, who also noted the match's bright spots. "That was the strongest confidence level I've seen us exhibit at the start of a match."

The Lady Lakers did open strongly, trailing only 8-6 in the opening set after a kill by Josie Canales (six kills, seven assists, three digs). Westmoreland, however, answered with a 7-3 run that Renah Kozemchak finished off with a service winner for a 15-9 advantage as the Wolfpack took control of the opening set.

Daphne Harman – who had team highs in both kills (nine) and digs (four) – gave GC a 1-0 lead in the second set with a point-scoring dink. Westmoreland, however, answered with a 7-1 run highlighted by kills from Paige Klinger (team-high six kills) and Shearer, as well as a point-scoring block from Katlyn Pierce.

The Wolfpack stretched their lead to 22-11 before GC put together a 9-1 scoring streak. That surge included two Harman kills and was climaxed by a hit from Sierra Smith (team-high 12 assists), pulling the Lady Lakers within 24-20 before Haley Dunaway's kill finished off Garrett.

GC had one-point leads on four different occasions in the third set before Westmoreland reeled off nine straight points to build a 12-4 cushion. The Lady Lakers hung tough, eventually pulling within 19-16 when Shearer sent a kill attempt long, but Westmoreland finished the match on a 6-2 run that included a pair of points from Mullett.

Jackson said she's pleased with the progress her all-freshman team is making.

"We're trying to win in increments of five points," explained Jackson. "After we get five points, we go for 10 points. We're trying to accomplish little milestones to keep us focused."