West grabs 100th win in program history
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Rachel Hamon celebrated her 18th birthday Tuesday night.
That celebration was put on the back burner for another celebration after the West volleyball team recorded its 100th victory in the program's history.
"It's awesome," said the senior Hamon after the 3-0 victory over Gregory-Portland. "This is like the best present ever. I'll remember it forever since it's my 18th birthday."
The Lady Warriors entered the history books with a clean sweep over Gregory-Portland, winning 25-14, 25-17 and 25-6.
"It's unbelievable. I never thought we'd get this far," West coach Sandra Longoria, who has also got her 100th victory at West, said. "It means everything to our program. Success breeds success."
"We've been working really hard every day since West opened," senior Kelsea Kalich, who has been a part of all 100 wins said. "To know all of that has gone somewhere and we've done something with all of our hard work is amazing."
West came out on fire to start the first game, winning the first 10 points and eventually built up a 15-5 lead. The Lady Cats fought to keep the deficit at 10 points, but fell behind 24-14 before scratching back to within 10 of West.
While the Lady Warriors won with ease in the first game, the second of the night proved to be much more difficult.
Gregory-Portland traded points for a majority of the game, with the Lady Cats grabbing their first lead of the night when they went up 5-4. They would build a two-point lead with 9-7, but it would be the last time they'd be on top.
West stormed back to take a commanding 19-12 lead on seven straight points. The Warriors finished the second game with a 6-5 run.
"We tried to correct the hitting errors we had," Longoria said of her team's performance in the second game. "We were a little nervous playing in front of a big crowd. I have a lot of young players on the court right now. We were working out the nerves between the second and third games."
The gymnasium at West was packed on the home side and the fans were constantly making noise in support of the Warriors.
"The second game, we didn't come out as strong as we should have," Kalich said. "We definitely weren't putting the ball down like we should have. They threw up a bigger block than we expected."
The third game was the quickest of all as the Warriors raced toward the century mark in victories.
After giving up the first point of the game to the Lady Cats, West went on to win the next eight points. Leading 11-2, the Warriors went on a 14-2 run to lead 23-4 before capping the night with a 25-6 win.
Along with Kalich, Hamon is the other member of the Warriors to have been a part of all 100 victories. Neither was sure if they'd reach this part, but knew that working hard would produce something good.
"Starting off my sophomore year we weren't sure what would happen," Hamon said. "We came in here practiced as a team and knew we could do it. She (Longoria) pushed us and I think that's why we got our 100th win."