The last season match for the Lady Cougars took place at The Howard School on Thursday afternoon. While the Cougars did not get a win with this meetup, they proved their stamina and drive to bring their game to the table as they bid farewell to the 2019 regular season.
It was a slow start in game one as the Lady Cougars began. They struggled to catch up with the Hawks in this game. They were challenged early on to get back the serve as Hawks #24 had a long string of serves. Celeste Jeoffroy was quick on the net with some key saves and good passing. Emily Daugherty covered the court well and made smart plays into open Hawk court space. After an entire rotation, she helped up the Cougar points with a 3 point run. Tracy Li also added to the numbers with 3 serves, including 2 aces. However, the Hawks were methodical with their continued placement of balls into the Cougar center court. Alecta Feely showed off her quick reflexes as she helped to protect this area. While the Cougars did cover this, they got burned on it too and it continued to be tough spot. Bella Scaff subbed in and had a great pass, earning back the serve. But the Hawks finished it, 14-25.
Game 2 again began slowly. Again, the Hawks got an early lead making it even tougher to catch up. Tough serving from the Hawks early in the game resulted in a 5 point lead for Hawks, 3-7. Luckily, Tracy battled back with the same caliber of serving, 3 straight serves and took Cougars back up the board. Anna Scalf makes a smart play into the Hawks open court space, getting the serve back for the Cougars. Celeste again drops her soft but mighty serve just across the net, making the Hawks think it was short, it wasn’t. It was just right. This was the start of a couple of great volleys that had everyone on the edge of their seats. This is the Cougar team we know that volleys, covers and plays with their heart and they did just that. Though they lost the serve it was fun volleyball to watch as they worked for each play. Earning back the serve, Erin McNeal got the team going with 3 well-placed shots to the Hawk court, bringing Cougars within striking distance, 17-23. Cougar nerves took over and this set went to Hawks, 18-25.
The team moved into game 3. Passing seemed to struggle early on. Erin served it up with 2 in a row. She is backed up by ladies on the net, picking up the dropped Hawk balls and short returns. Loss of serve for the Cougars and a series of errors kept them behind. Emily returns to serve, placing them in the deep Hawk court, much to their dismay, which brought the Cougars back in the game, 13-17. IN a bit, Olivia Robertson subbed in to help with frontcourt coverage as she then moved to the serving line, and placed 2 perfect shots into open Hawk court, Cougars moved up the scoreboard, 18-23. Even better, the cheerleader in Olivia shared in her excitement with a great foot kick to celebrate her perfect serve placement. Both teams were fighting for the numbers on the board making the volleys exceptionally fun to watch. However, even with their valiant efforts, Cougs couldn’t pull into the lead and Hawks won, 20-25.
Yes, it was a tough end to the regular season but the Lady Cougars are ready and excited to step into the playoffs. They know it is anyone’s game – anyone who wants it and is willing to work for it. Looking forward to a good Friday practice and the first match in playoffs at AASD on Wednesday, October 2. Game time and opponent to be announced. Go Cougars!!