During their 2020 fall season, Lady Chargers volleyball reinstated their claim on both the CCAC conference and PIAA District III 1A, winning both championship games for the first time since 2016.
In a season full of uncertainty, the club set some lofty goals and their tenacity paid off as they capped an undefeated regular season (15-0 without dropping a single game) with the pair of titles and punched a ticket to the State playoffs for the fourth time in school history.
The whirlwind season came to a close in the quarterfinals of the State tournament on November 14, experiencing their first and only loss, a 3-2 defeat from Sacred Heart Academy. The contest couldn’t have been decided on a slimmer margin, extending all the way to five games with MC slipping, 17-15, in the final set (25-21, 27-25, 21-25, 21-25, 17-15).
November 10th marked the District III championship win over Lititz Christian, 3-1 (25-10, 25-17, 21-25, 25-14). The showdown was made even more intense, due to the Chargers having just overcome the Lititz Eagles 11 days earlier for the CCAC championship. The 3-0 sweep on October 30th made Lititz eager for redemption, yet again it was the Chargers who prevailed.
“We knew when we faced Lititz in Districts that they would come back even stronger than when we played for the [CCAC] championship, and that turned out to be very evident,” noted co head coach Kate Ferrari. “I was proud to see our girls rise to the challenge.”
Encountering a bit more competition in their CCAC playoff journey, the Lady Chargers advanced with a 3-1 victory over Veritas on October 28, to head into the championship contest against Lititz Christian on the 30th.
The MC talent isn’t exclusive to upper classmen. While senior veterans Kami Mummau (233 kills, 176 digs) and Kara Locker (70 aces) were predictably named to the CCAC all conference first team, two freshmen made their varsity debut look anything but a rookie season. Alivia Rutt (69 aces, 196 digs, 253 assists) was a first-team selection, and Ava Fouse (203 assists, 20 blocks) second-team.
As important as the on-court successes are, the team’s emphasis on character development was just as strong, repeating the mantra “no excuses” throughout the season.
“We didn’t mean we expected perfection, but just that if we made mistakes, we don’t excuse it, we learn from it, we grow,” elaborated Ferrari. “They know it’s not for their glory that they play, but for God’s. I think that really helped them to come together as a team because no one was focused on their own personal achievements over the teams’.”
Three seniors will graduate this year, each known for contributing in different ways to the team’s close-knit dynamic. In addition to their talents on the court, Coach Ferrari expounded on how the team will miss Locker’s encouragement, Rachel Green’s joy and humor, and Mummau’s focus and determination.
After a 13-1 regular season, the Lady Chargers soccer team went on to bring home the CCAC conference title for the fifth time in the past six years, as well as make an appearance in the District III 1A finals.
The CCAC title game was played on October 31 at Exeter Township High School, and was decided by a lone goal supplied by freshman Ella Webb (27 goals, 12 assists) to clinch the 1-0 victory over the West Shore Christian Bobcats.
On their journey to the championship, Mount Calvary blanked Harrisburg Christian, 2-0, on October 27th, with sophomores Lilli Knudson and Breanna Winters handling the scoring.
“We’ve developed several different attacking threats which has made it difficult for other teams to shut us down,” noted head coach Kim Schmitkons. “This team has some very skilled players and we have been building steadily through the season learning to work together as more of a unit.”
Guarding the goal for both playoff contests was MC keeper Marley Neidwick, and the pair of shutouts brought her season total to 10 along with her collection of 62 saves.
The team came up just short in their District III playoff quest, taking home silver medals after falling to Fairfield High School in the final match, 3-0, on November 10th.
MC’s semi-final showdown was an exciting and high-scoring affair, surpassing York Catholic 7-3 on November 7th.
Though the contest was knotted at two apiece midway through the first half, the Chargers got a second wind and pulled away in a scoring surge showcasing a hat trick of goals from Webb, a pair from Julia Martin, and one apiece from Winters and Alivia Rutt.
“The girls stepped up their level of play and gave their best effort resulting in some really good connecting play and team defense,” credited Schmitkons.
On October 8th, Martin surpassed a milestone never before reached in MCCS varsity girls’ soccer history, netting her 100th career goal in an away contest at West Shore Christian. She racked up a total of 114 before the season came to a close.
“I am so excited to have achieved this milestone that I have worked so hard for, and it would not have been possible without the support of my amazing teammates and coaches over the past four years,” celebrated Martin.
The club celebrated five all conference selections, with Martin and Abigail Yordy named to the first team, and Webb, Ruth Hynum and Lauren Enterline receiving second-team recognition.
They will also say goodbye to seniors Martin, Olivia Yordy, and Lea Lin, a trio whose leadership and skill will not be easily replaced.
Amongst the ups, downs, and hurdles of the 2020 season, the club never lost sight of their team theme, “Playing for God” derived from I Corinthians 10:31. Though the outlook on the season was uncertain at best, Coach Schmitkons challenged her team to embrace each obstacle that presented itself.
“In Districts the team played their best games of the season. They showed they were still capable of growing and improving, and we’re looking forward to seeing that happen in the future.”
MC boys soccer powered through an undefeated regular season (12-0-1) to advance to the CCAC finals before falling, 1-0, to Harrisburg Christian on October 31st.
Four days prior, Damian Rutt’s goal in the first round of playoffs lifted the squad to a 1-0 victory over Conestoga Christian on October 27th, earning their appearance in the CCAC title game.
The Chargers’ season efforts also earned them a PIAA District III playoff berth in which they bowed out in a semi-final loss to Tulpehocken, 2-0, closing their season on November 7th.
Rutt’s scoring contributions were a crucial aspect of the team’s season-long success, accruing 15 goals and 13 assists.
Sophomore, Brett Taylor, created another offensive angle for the Chargers, garnering 10 goals and seven assists.
MC’s regular season contained eight shutouts, largely thanks to a formidable back line and strong keeper, sophomore Reagan Mummau, who gathered 38 saves.
Wyatt Lamb, a junior, anchored the defensive line that bolstered the squad, and two sophomore’s Brandon Zeager and Braden Esbenshade, placed in defensive midfield positions, gave the club invaluable contributions on both ends of the field.
Twice during the regular season, once against High Point Baptist and then against West Shore, the club found themselves in a 3-0 deficit headed into the final minutes of regulation, and both times the Chargers regrouped to battle back to an outstanding 4-3 triumph.
“Our VB soccer regular season has been one of MCCS best and we have battled against some tough opponents,” explained coach Marc Myers. “The boys have demonstrated their spirit, hard work, and teamwork as we need every single player to be successful.”
Taylor and Rutt were both named to the CCAC first team all-conference team, and Zeager and Lamb received second team honors.
Next season, the team will miss the presence of their lead scorer, Rutt, and fellow senior Dane Kelley who was described by Coach Myers as an example of hard work and dedication. While their leadership will be missed, their examples have left a lasting impression on the returning crew.
Charger golf reminded us that wins and losses are not the only indicator of growth when it comes to athletics, as the team persevered through competitions, pushing themselves to grow in both skill and character.
“The season did not see much success in the win column,” said head coach Matt Owlett. “But we certainly improved as a team. Most importantly, we honored God with our attitudes and efforts and had an incredibly fun time together.”
Though unable to clinch a team win, in their final match at Millersburg the MC club shaved off 30 strokes from their previous collective best, and Hunter Stewart and Hayden Merrick finished their high school golf career with personal best rounds.
Three graduating three seniors were celebrated on October 2nd for senior night, with each adding a unique dynamic that will be missed.
Jordan Weaver played two years on the golf team in addition to lending his talents to the Yearbook committee. Coach Owlett pointed out Weaver’s improvement in the sport as well as the fun and comradery he brought to the team.
Hayden Merrick, a four-year player who also is a member of choir, National Honor Society and Yearbook, will be remembered for his sense of humor and growth in leadership pointing others to follow the Lord.
Hunter Stewart, a three-sport athlete and class VP, has contributed some of the best numbers for the golf team as well as showing a fun-loving, team-first mentality.
Athletic programs continue to prove that facing adversity can bring about the greatest growth, and to say that 2020 has presented obstacles is an understatement. Yet, despite those challenges young athletes also continue to prove they are able and willing to rise to the occasion.
“I am so proud of our athletic staff, coaches, and most importantly our players for their perseverance during a very unique fall season,” commented Mount Calvary Athletic Director, Jared Griest. “Not only were we able to complete a full season without any cancellations, but all of our teams combined to compete at a level that we have never experienced before.”