The Fighting Scots volleyball team started strong on home ground during the Ginny Hunt Kilt Classic this past weekend. The team finished with a record of 3-1. The Scots took a win and a loss on Saturday, but bounced back and dominated on Sunday with two straight wins, both of which ended in three sets with the team scoring 3-0 in both games.
The Scots started well for the commencement match of the Kilt Classic, with the team defeating Colby College in three straight sets, with scores of 18-25, 20-25 and 13-25. The Scots logged a .353 hit percentage in the first set and .476 in the third and final set. Hayley Nash ’23 displayed real talent in the final set with 13 digs (keeping a ball in play), followed by her teammates Megan Botsch ’21. Botsch also logged a double-double for the game with 29 assists.
Coming off a victory high from the first game on Saturday, the night unfortunately ended with a loss to Hiram. The loss echoed the team’s last season loss to the same team, a game which ended the season hopes for the Fighting Scots. On the loss, Katie Billetdeaux ’22 said, “Our season ended when we lost to them in the NCAC Conference Tournament last year, but after playing them this weekend, we realized that they were a team with a very similar playing style as us. We know that we have the potential to play at the same level as the top teams in our conference because of how well we played last weekend.”
Sunday was another day with no promises of success but the Scots rebounded with a superb win over Bluffton University, dominating 18-25, 20-25, 13-25 to clinch the game 3-0. Botsch, who had 33 assists and 13 digs in the game, logged a double-double along with Nash who had 11 kills and 10 digs. Sydney Fitzcharles ’23 helped bring the game home with 18 digs. It was the team’s domination on the stats sheet that helped the Scots reach a season high hit percentage of .314. When asked about the new team’s performance, captain Cami Miller ’20 said, “Despite our team’s young age, I think that our team this year has a matured sense of confidence on the court. The first-years bring a lot of talent and calmness to the floor, they already played like seasoned pros!” Botsch, whose performance helped the Scots secure their wins contributes a majority of their performance to the first-year talent. “This season is super different than last year having graduated so much of our team. We have a lot of really exciting potential and it has been really fun seeing how the team is adjusting to such a different vibe of the team,” said Botsch.
Continuing with their amazing performance, the Scots finished strong in their final game against University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, beating the panthers 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 to clinch the game 3-0. Anna Medema ’20’s set-high of six kills insured a Scots victory. Medema ended the tournament with 32 kills, 16 digs, five aces and four blocks was deservingly named to the all-tourney team at the conclusion of the tournament.
On asking how the new team feels and their prospects for this season, Billetdeaux stated, “Our team is very young, but that means we have room for a lot of growth. In fact, one of our team’s goals is to have a ‘growth mindset’ throughout the season. We’re excited about how good our team can become with the hard work we put in on the court, in practice and in the weight room. Just in comparing last weekend at the Ginny Hunt Kilt Classic to the first matches of the season, there has already been exponential growth.” She continued, “I’m excited to see how the rest of the season goes, especially as we head into conference matches, where we will see Hiram again.” Going off of what Billetdeaux says, Miller continued, “I am so proud of my team after this weekend. We meshed so well, and our confidence and energy brought us to three great wins.” Echoing calls for a better season, Botsch said, “I’m really excited about how the season could play out. I think we’re really going to surprise a lot of the other teams in our conference.”