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 Soccer Wins First Conference Game of Season

Author: Jack Ridenour

The Women’s Soccer team won 2-1 Saturday, Oct. 1 against Presidents’ Athletic Conference rival Washington and Jefferson College. The Cougars entered the contest Saturday with a record of 5-1-2. Washington and Jefferson entered Saturday standing at 6-3-1, neither team having played a PAC conference game.

This was the Cougars’ first test against a conference opponent for the season. The game followed a tie against Carlow University and a big win against Penn State Altoona.

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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.

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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.

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.

Chatham Women’s Soccer continues to raise the bar

The Chatham Women’s Soccer team continued to move forward as they faced Bethany College on Wednesday, October 7. As a President’s Athletic Conference (PAC) game, the women tried their best to bring the soccer PAC record to 1-1 for the season, and they succeeded. Having scored three goals to Bethany’s one by the time the first half was over, the game seemed to be in Chatham’s favor. However, as the second half began, the Cougars began to become a bit pressured by Bethany’s slightly more aggressive play style.

Bethany scored once again at the midpoint of the second half, but Chatham retaliated by scoring a goal of their own, bringing the game to 4-2. Chatham played a defensive game from that goal on, making sure they were able to box Bethany out and stop them from scoring again, keeping the final score of the game at 4-2; the goals of this game being scored by Kassianna Politis, Megan Sieg—with one assist by Skylar Benjamin—and Cassandra Small.

The game versus Bethany was a big one for the Cougars, in more ways than one. Not only did it help them continue to improve the Chatham University record for goals in a season, which is currently 40, but it also was the game that allowed the team to break the record for “Most Games Won in a Season,” by any Chatham Women’s Soccer team in the past. This means that during the season, the women’s soccer team has broken two records and tied one.

“It’s pretty exciting to know that we broke those records,” said first-year player Katie Sieg. “But now we just have to keep working harder each practice and improve every game.”

“It feels great breaking those records,” said sophomore Megan Sieg. “Our team has come a long way and it’s amazing to see all the improvements that we have made this year, so far.”

First-year Morgan Stamm had this to say about the season so far: “It’s an awesome feeling knowing that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are winning with finesse, and in doing so, we are making a better name for the Chatham University Soccer program.”

The Cougars continue their season with a current 7-2 record, pushing forward as their season winds down through the month of October.

For more information regarding Cougar Women’s Soccer, visit gochathamcougars.com

Athlete profile: Julie Bruening

First year Julie Bruening, from Madison Ohio, has dedicated most of her life to the sport of soccer. This year has been slightly different. There are still the early or late practices, the tough coaches, and the intense competition, but now she is living with her teammates instead of just playing with them.

Bruening has been receiving quite a bit of attention recently as an athlete at Chatham. She has been named PAC Offensive Player of the Week, is currently tied with junior Skylar Benjamin for most goals in a game at four apiece, has scored ten goals overall this season so far, and has been recognized by NCAA as the top scorer of points per game in Division III Women’s Soccer.

“I’m really happy to have all these things, but it wasn’t just me. If it wasn’t for my teammates backing me up and the coaches supporting me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this far,” Bruening said. “I think that you have to try your best because you know that the team has your back and that you have theirs. Teamwork really does make the dream work.”

Bruening continues to play during the season, while balancing a personal and academic life. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends and teammates.

Chatham women’s soccer team’s success continues

Chatham University is all about setting records and making history. Many people thought males coming to the school would be the biggest historical change of the year, but they were wrong. The women’s soccer team has continued to live up to the standard of excellence that Chatham expects of its student-athletes.

In their game against Washington Adventist, the Cougars succeeded in breaking the school record of goals in a season, which was previously 33. The Cougars have scored 36 goals this season, a number that will only continue to increase as their season goes on.

About breaking the record during her first-year, Kat Luteri said, “It’s a great feeling. Soccer is such a big team sport and the effort of everyone went into getting this far.”

With a 6-1 record in the season so far, the Cougars Women’s Soccer team still has a lot of time to continue to set records and do great things as the season continues into October.