Columbia College volleyball coach Melinda Wrye-Washington said her team’s match Wednesday night might have fooled some people.
“We like to see smooth games and tonight was a smooth game,” Wrye-Washington said. “But it’s going to look rougher than it was because (William Woods University) slowed us down and hesitated between serves and made us look worse than we played.”
The Cougars defeated William Woods 30-17, 30-23, 30-18 at the Arena of Southwell Complex. Shana Aubrey, a senior middle blocker, said the difficulties Columbia College had with the Owls did not worry her.
“This is kind of a blessing in disguise,” Aubrey said. “It shows us what we need to do.”
The No. 3 Cougars (33-3, 14-0 American Midwest Conference) fell behind early in each game but rallied for substantial leads in every game.
“We put (William Woods) where they needed to be put,” Wrye-Washington said. “Though it wasn’t a pretty win.”
The Cougars’ serving carried them in Game 1. All of the Cougars’ servers except two recorded at least one point during each rotation. They had only two aces against five service errors. After a tie at 5, Columbia College went on a 15-5 run behind Jacqueline Makokha, a senior outside hitter who had seven kills.
“They were a tricky team so when I came out I knew I just had to focus on getting my job done,” Makokha said.
Game 2 was the closest and slowest of the match, as the Owls began delaying by ignoring ball rotation rules and returning to their spots slowly.
“It was a good game plan,” Wrye-Washington said. “They slowed us down when they needed to.”
Game 3 remained tight until sophomore outside hitter Doris Wefwafwa started a 14-6 rally when she fooled the Owls with a soft kill. Wefwafwa finished the match with 22 kills and 19 digs.
“If we have a game like this, with kinks, it’s a good opportunity to kick the kinks out,” senior setter Tracie Ford said. “We knew that we were going to get the win. It was just that tonight we knew it would take a little longer.”
Ford, who finished with 45 assists and leads the AMC in assists per game, was granted an extra year of eligibility this year, giving her a second chance to have a Senior Night game. She said she would have to designate this year’s game as “Senior Night game No. 2.”