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Rallying through the season

Bauhinia Chen '26

Sep 29, 2023

Mercersburg Academy’s volleyball team is having an eventful season fraught with highs and lows. So far, the team has three wins and three losses. On September 20, the team lost to St. Maria Goretti Catholic High School 2-3. Last Saturday, the team returned with a laudable victory at the blue-out home event by beating the visiting Fannett-Metal High School 3-0. 

Players were dismayed by the loss to Goretti because it was a tight match, which they had thought would swing toward a victory. “We won the first two sets against Goretti and lost the latter three. It was a close game, but we could’ve won if we minimized mistakes by watching and covering pushes,” said captain Emily Jiang ‘24. “We fought hard to win that game, but we were all tired at the end since we played five sets straight with the same players. Some of them could’ve gotten a break in between, and subs could have joined,” added Shine Jo ‘25.

The following match against Fannett-Metal High School was a monumental win. The cheering from the spirited student body truly rekindled the morale of the players. “That was a huge achievement. A lot of us were starting to get discouraged from rough games. Having people to support us and winning that game was a great moment,” said Audrey Hua '26. Alyssa Lee ‘25 added, “I enjoyed it a lot. Seeing many peers coming to support us especially helped with keeping our energy up.”. 

The team this season is different from past seasons due to the absence of a JV team. This year, the teams were consolidated into a single unit of 18 players with the introduction of many new and former JV members. “We are very young and currently have only one senior in our starting lineup. We have a strong group of new freshmen. Jaz Garnett ‘27, Rayna Allen ‘27, and Lena Wilke ‘27 are all freshmen who are already getting a lot of playing time. Not having a JV team makes it challenging to try and get everyone some playing time during games, but the girls continue to work hard,” said head coach Amy Lyman. She also praised the returning players for stepping up on the court. “Our captains this year are Jiang and Alli Caretti ‘26. They are both showing good leadership on and off the court. Alyssa Lee ‘25 is a returning junior who is a great defensive player, and Audrey Hua ‘26 has stepped up, worked hard, and earned a starting position,”  Lyman added.

Kamden Jenkins ‘26 commented on the new dynamic: “The team has a lot of potential. In some games, we struggle to put it all together because we are young, but other times we play well. The new players are really good and stepped up to fill in some gaps.” Jiang elaborated, “The new players have contributed so much! The team is meshing together really well. We all enjoy each others’ company and lots of laughs.” Jo agreed, “The dynamic is just amazing with the team and new people. We had our ups and downs, but we always find a way to get past that, and, as coach always says, ‘leave it at the door.’”

The atmosphere of the team has led to the inclusion of all players and a strong work ethic. “The team is slowly improving every day. Everyone comes in with a good attitude, which helps our team dynamic. I think having a mix of returning players and younger new players is great for building skills,” said Lee. 

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