Senior Amanda Farthing led the way with 14 kills, sophomore Casey Schauman picked up four aces and senior Tess Sheets added 24 assists en route to a five-set victory over Melbourne High School, the first volleyball victory over the Lady Bulldogs in school history.
In front of a packed crowd, filled with current and former students from both schools, the Lady Wildcats rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to defeat Melbourne 15-13 in the pivotal fifth set.
“Seeing the gym filled really motivated us to play our best,” Sheets said. “We really didn’t want to let them down.”
The emotion was high both on the court and in the crowd, where West Shore and Melbourne students traded rally cries, while the teams on the court traded leads.
“I don’t like them at all,” senior Wil Hoskovec said about Melbourne Students.”They park absolutely terribly too.”
On the court, many were playing against their former classmates, teammates and even friends.
“It’s really wild because we know almost all of them,” Schauman said. “That definitely doesn’t mean I don’t want to beat them, though.”
If the Lady Wildcats were feeling the pressure of last year’s successful year, they certainly didn’t let it show.
“We set the bar pretty high last year, but there’s really not too much pressure,” Sheets said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time.”
The game started well for the Lady Wildcats, they took the first set 25-20, staving off a late Melbourne rally. In the second set, the Wildcats lost a late lead, and were unable to capture the set, falling 25-23.
In the third set, the Wildcats fell behind 7-0, and their slow start proved to be their downfall, as their comeback efforts fell short, dropping the third set 25-20.
At the beginning of the fourth set, the Lady Wildcats held a 15-5 lead, and never looked back, taking the set 25-10, and forcing a critcal, final fifth set.
After being up 7-0, the Lady Bulldogs made a huge rally and brought the score back to 14-13. Finally, Sheets came up with the winning kill, finishing the match and capping a two-set comeback.
If the result of this match is any indication of how the season will unfold, sophomore Taylor Kelly said it best:
“This means there are a lot more wins to come.”