Cougars host first-ever playoff game
The ConVal girls volleyball team lost to Campbell 3-1 in the first ever varsity match in the new gymnasium on Sept. 13, 2013. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
Before this season, the fledgling ConVal girls volleyball team only had two wins to their name for the entire history of the program. This year, the Cougars, now in year three of their existence, finished at 11-5, good enough for the eighth seed and a home playoff game against ninth-seeded Moultonborough. They strung together several strong winning streaks, including a four-gamer back in September and three straight to close out the season and clinch home court advantage.
“We worked really hard last week to win all our games so that we could have our first postseason game at home,” head coach Jenn Merrill said. “The way we played last week is how I’ve wanted us to finish out the season. It’s how I want us to continue to play this week. We came together as a team and had confidence in winning matches we needed.”
Senior leaders Sarah Clemens and Ayo Guy-Scott have put together a great few seasons as they carried the Cougars to the promised land after struggling through that initial winless season. The two seniors are the perfect complements for each other; Clemens sets the table with precision while Guy-Scott plays above the net on offense and defense, throwing down spikes and blocks with intensity and abandon.
Making the playoffs is “a dream come true” for Guy-Scott and the rest of the ConVal girls.
“Three years ago I never would have imagined that me and my team would have made it this far,” Guy-Scott said. “The fact that we’re playing and hosting doesn’t even seem real. When we step on that court, I’m almost 100 percent sure there will be tears.”
ConVal’s matchup in their first-ever playoff game is against 11-5 Moultonborough. The Lakes-region school is just shy of two hours to the north, but the Panthers might as well be coming from across the globe for all the Cougars know of their opponent.
“I’ve never even heard of Moultonborough before this week,” Guy-Scott said, “and I don’t think my team has either, but I don’t think it will hurt us in any way. We’re always more worried about our performance and how we do.”
The match is at ConVal tonight at 6 p.m.