Women’s Volleyball Players Stress Communication and Energy as Playoffs Approach

Author: Jack Ridenour

The Women’s Volleyball team has continued their hot streak, winning their last three matches. Two of the three wins have been against PAC opponents, Saint Vincent College and Thiel College. With these two conference wins, the Cougars are in the playoff conversation.

Their most recent win came against Penn State Allegheny. The first set was a challenge for the Cougars, but they were able to pull out a close victory. In the second set, Allegheny made a few adjustments, and defeated the Cougars. The Cougars easily defeated Allegheny in the third set, and headed into the fourth set up 2 to 1. The final set was a hard fought battle. They eventually were able to work together and pull out the victory 3 games to 1.

“We learned that with different players in the game that communication was key, and that’s what we had to do to win,” said first-year libero and Biochemistry major Sydney Stevens.

The Cougars have been able to build off of every win this season. This win streak has been proof of the hard work they have been putting in on the court. “Communication and teamwork have been the key points to our winning streak,” said first-year Nursing student and opposite hitter Tessa Verner. Communication will continue to be key for the cougars as they continue their conference play.

Conference play is beginning to heat up, with playoffs right around the corner. Their latest success must continue if they want to find themselves playing later on in the season. “I think the key for us to succeed the rest of the season is to keep up our communication and enthusiasm when we play,” said sophomore Nursing student and outside/opposite hitter Maggie Fleiner. Communication has been a recurring theme for the Cougars, and will continue to be one as the season progresses.

Although the team has been successful, there are adjustments that need to be made. “We need to communicate well and keep the energy high for every game,” said first-year outside hitter and Exercise Science major Belen Brown. Their energy needs to be able to carry over from each game for them to continue their outstanding play.

The whole team agrees that communication and high energy will be constant themes for as the season winds down. With playoffs coming up, the Cougars cannot let up right now. They must continue to build off of each game and prepare for every opponent these next few games.

The Cougars’ record is 8-16. They face Thiel next on Oct. 19. The next home games are on Oct. 22 and 23, against Washington and Jefferson and Thomas More.

Women’s Volleyball Scores Historic PAC Victory Against Waynesburg

Author: Jack Ridenour

The Women’s Volleyball team has been on a roll. Not only have they surpassed their win total from last year, but they have also made school history. On Sept. 21, the Cougars won their first Presidents’ Athletic Conference volleyball game in Chatham history.

The 3-1 victory was against PAC opponent Waynesburg University. The team went up against not only Waynesburg, but also Geneva College. Despite losing to Geneva, the victory against Waynesburg was monumental for the program and the school, and led to a four-win streak.

Contine reading

A Season to Remember: Women’s basketball ends their season

The women’s basketball season came to an end last Wednesday. The Cougars took a tough loss to Waynesburg in the second round of playoffs. Down big at the half, they came out swinging in the second, cutting down the lead down to 15. The ladies fought hard all game, but ultimately could not pull out a victory. Seniors Rachel McClain, Anna Shashura and Chelsea Kovalcsik left everything out on the court for their final game in a Chatham uniform.

This season marked a few firsts for the Women’s team. On Monday, the team won their first ever playoff game in school history.

“We were all really happy and kind of in shock that we just accomplished such an amazing thing in Chatham history,” said first year Natalie Knab. “We knew that we had been wanting to win this game since the beginning of the season and just couldn’t believe we had accomplished it. The locker room was crazy. We were all going crazy especially the seniors. Walking off the court I think we all felt like we finally had a great game as a team and individually. We all contributed to the win and we were all excited to move on to the next round of playoffs.”

In addition to this big accomplishment, the team won 11 games, the most they have won in the last five years.

“I think everyone on our team has great chemistry and we know what each other’s strengths are,” said Shashura. “We have so many talented players so we don’t have to rely on one person to pull through to get the win. We have contributors from both the starters and the bench.”

“In the past we have won maybe three games a season and that’s really hard. Just going back day after day and continuing to lose, but I think us getting through those tough years made this year even better and has set the standard for what Chatham’s women’s team will be from now on,” Shashura continued.

The team was helped all year long by the leadership of its three seniors. Through the tough loses to Thomas Moore and Grove City, the seniors held their heads high and continued to encourage their younger teammates. They had some hard fought wins as well, against some tough conference opponents. Two big road wins, against Bethany College and Geneva College, helped them for playoff seeding. Another crucial victory was a home win against PAC rival St. Vincent College.

After a tremendous season, the three seniors have passed the reigns off onto the younger players. Juniors Jesse Hinkle, Nikki Ingel, and Dana Eastman look to lead this young Cougar team next year. The Cougars will offer more experience as they return one sophomore and five first years.

After four years of play, the senior team members have some advice for returning and new players.

“I would tell them not to take the time they get to play for granted,” said McClain. “Four years seems like such a long time but goes by so quick. I would tell them the athletics program is only going up from here and use this year as a stepping stone to get better for the next few years.”

The Cougars look to build off of this incredible season. With only three seniors graduating, the team will be comprised mainly of returning players who had a big impact on this season. The Cougars look forward to taking on their rivals in the PAC conference next year.

Cougars basketball gets back on track

Chatham’s women’s basketball team has been on a roll as of late, winning two of their last three games.

Their most recent win came against Geneva College. The Cougars were down big at halftime, but strong plays from their guards and post players helped secure a victory. Senior Rachel McClain and freshman Katie Sieg were the high scorers with 14 points each.

The Cougars have two more games in the regular season. If they continue to ride this wave of confident playing, they will wind up in a good position for playoffs.

After a hard fought road win against Bethany, the Cougars played at home against Grove City on Wednesday. They fought neck and neck with them the whole game. The Cougars wound up losing off a buzzer beater by Grove City.

They bounced back with another road win against Geneva this past Saturday.

“ I honestly think we just believed in ourselves,” said senior Chelsea Kovalcsik. “We’ve beaten Geneva before and we’ve worked too hard to let it slip through our fingertips.”

“Grove City was a tough loss, no doubt, but we’ve never with them for the whole game and so although we felt awful, it was a confidence booster knowing what exactly we are capable of,” she continued. “That, and we really want it. Every day, every practice, and every game we want to win.”

The Cougars had to claw their way back against Grove City and Geneva. This resiliency and leadership from their three seniors could be key in their final two games of the regular season.

“Focus and intensity will be key for us as playoffs approach,” senior Anna Shashura said. “We have good team chemistry on and off the court, which has helped us play more together these last few games.”

With the season coming to an end, the Cougars have a chance to get hot going into playoffs. They have the opportunity to make a lot of noise in the President’s Athletic Conference (PAC). Their hard work and determination has to be at a high level this final stretch going into playoffs.

Women’s Basketball team takes on Carlow and PSU-Beaver in scrimmage

The Chatham Women’s basketball team has been in the gym working diligently in preparation for the home opener against Penn State New Kensington on November 17.

With the five freshman playing major minutes the first two scrimmages, the team had a lot of inexperience on the court. But this did not seem to phase the young Cougar team. Lead by three seniors, the team clicked with one another.

The seniors feel that this year’s team has a lot of promise.

“Honestly I think this year we’re going to be really strong. We have a lot of good leaders on the team that we haven’t had in the past, we have some great players who bring all different things to the team, and we have the will to win that we haven’t had in the past,” said senior Chelsea Kovalcsik. “I think this year’s team is much better than the teams in the past.”

There were challenges in the scrimmages that were noticeable.

“Based on the scrimmages, I think our team really needs to work on boxing out. We’re a small team so fundamentals to rebounding are going to be extremely important,” said Rachel McClain, another senior.

Rebounding will be crucial in the success of the team. What they lack in size, they’ll need to make up for in fundamentals.

“Another area we need to work on is passing,” said McClain. “During the scrimmages, we had some weak passes that turned into points for the other team so it’s crucial that we sure this area up.”  

Although they have some areas of improvement, there are areas of strength.

“I think our biggest strength is that we really are great teammates to each other and we play because we want to be there.” Kovalcsik said.

Besides having to be fundamentally good, they have to be able to be good teammates too.

“We especially aren’t selfish when we’re playing,” said Kovalcsik. “We’re so good at looking for our players and playing off their strengths and weaknesses.”

Athletes and Injuries: Things That Can Be Done to Take Care of Yourself

We cheer for them, we encourage them, we want them to win because they are our athletes.

When it comes to sports, whether it be on the field, on the court, or in the pool, all athletes have one thing in common. Once they push themselves too hard, or are in the wake of an accident, they can get injured. No athlete likes being put on the bench, but it seems as though injury — from something as minor as slight shoulder problems from over rotation in swimming to getting a concussion in soccer and even to spraining or breaking your ankle in basketball or track — is an unavoidable part of being an athlete.  

When faced with an injury, there are several general things an athlete can do — besides not practice — to get back into peak physical condition for their specific sport. The first of many things you can do for standard surface injury such as a bruise, a stub, or just general after practice pain is to visit the trainer. The first of many jobs of the training staff is to make sure that an athlete is feeling their best so that they can do the sport they love. Just walk in, tell them what’s wrong, and most likely it can be solved with some ice, a bit of heat, and rolling/stretching out the area.

If the injury seems like it could be more serious, go to the hospital or your local sports medicine clinic. This can be a great preventative measure so that the injury doesn’t lead to surgery or even worse, not being able to play the sport in question. Many injuries can often be solved with proper care and rehabilitation to the injured area. Most, if not all sports medicine centers can give an athlete an at-home, or in college cases at-school, rehab that can be done over time to improve the injury. While it may seem like a pain to do, it is one of the cases when the end justifies the means. If the injury heals, then the athlete can return to their sport.

So say all else fails and you end up with an injury that results in you being out for most of, if not the whole season. That’s okay. Things happen, and it is more important to recover correctly then to push to hard and make a bad injury worse. At the end of the day, as long as the recovery process goes well and the injury doesn’t prevent you from participating during the next season, then it is worth the time.

So remember athletes, if anything with your body seems to be wrong while practicing, make sure to follow up with it. That way, something small doesn’t turn into something major, and you don’t end up paying for it down the road.

Men’s basketball team plays first scrimmage

The Chatham Cougars Men’s Basketball team had their first scrimmage against Carlow University on Friday, October 31, and the players are excited for the season. The scrimmage’s purpose was to figure out the team’s strengths and weaknesses so they can become a better team. They will play their first game on November 17 in Chatham’s gymnasium against Penn State Beaver.

Women’s basketball team ready for a new season

The Basketball season has just begun, and both the men and women’s teams have been working hard preparing for the upcoming season. The women have been in the gym everyday, running sprints, doing drills and going over plays to prepare themselves for the long and grueling season ahead of them.

The team has had to overcome some adversity after the first two weeks of practice. Multiple injuries have plagued the team, including an injury to senior Rachel McClain. She overcame this injury and has been practicing hard with the team the last week.

“It’s been challenging, but I know the end result will be rewarding,” said first-year Natalie Knab.  

With the addition of five freshmen to the team, there have been some adjustments that the team’s had to face. They’ve had to learn how their teammates play and come together as a team. First-year teammates have also had to learn the new offense and the style of their new coach.

“I feel like the five freshman on the team, including myself, are very intelligent and have played the game for many years, and continue to grow as players, adjusting won’t be hard for us,” said first-year player Ashley McClain.  

Despite adversity, both Knab and McClain are optimistic for the season.

“We should always hope for a winning season so that is what we will strive for. I am very confident in the team,” said McClain.

The team has been working day in and day out, regardless of how many injuries they have endured.

“It’s hard to get into a groove with everyone on the team because teams are so selective based on who can do a drill,” she said. “Overall we are all playing well together and it’s exciting to see our overall improvement.”

The team’s first game will be against Allegheny College on November 17 at 5:30 p.m. Their talent will be tested, and they will have to fight hard in order to come out victorious. All signs point towards a fun and interesting year for the Chatham women’s basketball team.   

Soccer team ends season with a loss

On Halloween, the Chatham Cougars Women’s Soccer team played their final game of the season versus Grove City. Being the final game of the, the Cougars just had to play their best and try for that ninth win. However, the Cougars didn’t come away with the results they wanted overall. The Women’s Soccer team lost 0-4, giving them a season score of 8 wins and 8 losses.

As they played against the Wolverines of Grove City, the Cougars were outshot eight to 23, had one corner to Grove City’s four, and had eight saves to Grove City’s four. Being the end of the season this gives the athletes time to wind down and shift focus to other matters of the school year, whether that be another sport, a new club, or just focusing on their school work even more.

With the end results of this game, it brings Chatham to the close of the best season in the school’s history for any Women’s Soccer team. Head Coach Betsy Warren and the rest of the team says goodbye to seniors Sarah Jugovic (Pittsburgh, PA) and Auralia Henderson (Palmyra, PA) as the prepare to graduate and continue onward to their futures.

As a head coach, however, Warren has already begun to lay the groundwork for the 2016-2017 season. With soccer getting its share of recruits, like with any other sport, there could be potential for an even better record next season.

To see the results of any of the Cougar Soccer games from over the season visit GoChathamCougars.com.

Chatham celebrates winter athletes with “Midnight Madness”

When you walked into the AFC on the night of Wednesday, October 14, you knew something was going on.

As the women’s Ice Hockey team, and the men’s and women’s Swimming and Diving, Basketball, and Indoor Track teams filed into the gym, the crowd in the stand began to grow as well. People lined up to get some Buffalo Chicken Dip and chips, and then they began to take their seats. After some mingling, the games began.

Competitions with the people in stands began, consisting of 3-on-3 and coaches vs. student 5-on-5. The crowd really got into it and really showed their school spirit.

As the hour neared midnight, the crowd began to die down. They anxiously waited to hear the announcement of the new 2015-2016 winter sports teams.

The announcer came on to introduce the women and men’s Swimming and Diving and Track teams. They then moved onto the women’s and men’s Basketball teams. The men’s team gathered around the center of the court and really got the crowd going with their enthusiastic chants.

After the conclusion of the announcements, the basketball teams had their own contests against each other. The coed shootout was greeted with lots of support from the fans.

One fan, sophomore Ava Iuliucci, had a great review of the event.

“I thought it was fun; it made it feel like it was an actual college, compared to last year where we couldn’t do that for the women’s teams,” she said.

There was then a skills contest among the women’s team and then the men’s. The competitors had to make a layup, dribble down the court, pass into a laundry basket, make a jump shot, then dribble down the court and pass to their partner.

After the event concluded, the teams all helped clean up and the fans began to leave. Many fans, both faculty and students, turned out for the event, making it a contender for a new Chatham tradition.