’Cats sweep Eagles

WATERFORD – Waterford’s five seniors all played integral roles in the team’s 3-0 victory over Belpre on “Senior Night” Monday at Waterford Elementary School.

Laura Hill and Haley McCutcheon each led the team with eight kills, Alyssa Miller had 10 points and 24 assists, Jessie Reynolds had five kills and Katie Semon had three digs.

In all, it was a fitting way for the seniors to perform in the final home game of their high school volleyball careers.

“We have a pretty good group of seniors,” said Waterford volleyball coach Jandy Drayer. “I’ve got to hand it to them. They’re really good together.”

Sophomore Dani Drayer (27 points, 12 aces 13 digs) and junior Taylor Hilverding (10 points, 7 aces, 5 kills) also had big games for the Wildcats, who clinched at least a share of the Tri-Valley Conference – Hocking Division title with the win.

However, just a share of the crown may not be enough for the green and white.

“We don’t want to share,” said Coach Drayer.

In order for Waterford to claim the conference championship outright, it will have to defeat Eastern on the road Thursday.

As for Monday’s match against the Golden Eagles, the Wildcats came out just a tad bit rusty, which may have been due to not practicing since last Thursday due to homecoming as well as some lineup changes for “Senior Night.” It didn’t take long to shake that rust off, though.

Belpre jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 5-4 and kept it as close as 14-10 before Waterford began to pull away. Back-to-back blocks by Reynolds and Drayer made it 16-10 before Drayer recorded consecutive aces to put the Wildcats on top 19-11. Kills by Hill and Reynolds stretched the lead to 24-16 before McCutcheon notched a kill to end the first set at 25-17.

The second set was all Waterford, as Belpre had a hard time returning serves. Drayer and Hilverding combined for eight service aces in the set to lead Waterford to a dominating 25-4 win.

“We finally got on a roll,” Coach Drayer said. “I felt like we served pretty well tonight. I hope we can serve the rest of the week that well. Our passing got better in the second and third game so we were able to control things a little bit better.”

It was more of the same in the third set, although Belpre kept it a little closer at 24-13 before a block by Reynolds capped it off.

The win upped Waterford’s record to 18-2 overall and a perfect 15-0 in the league.

Waterford takes on rival Fort Frye in Beverly today in a non-league game before capping the regular season at Eastern Thursday.