CHATHAM, NJ - Senior Emily Jaime admits that some of her Chatham girls volleyball teammates had been apprehensive about facing an undefeated Randolph squad.
But after the Lady Cougars squandered a one-game lead to lose the match, 2-1, at home on Tuesday, there was a renewed confidence on what can be accomplished by Chatham this season.
"Before we played them, we knew they were a good team," Jaime said. "Some people might have been scared. Now we can see that we can totally beat them. We did beat them. We can beat them."
Jaime's kill in the first game clinched a 25-23 win for Chatham before the Rams came back to win the next two games, 25-21 and 25-23.
Randolph (3-0) won the match, but the Lady Cougars, now 1-1, pointed to the gift-wrapped points they gave away, including serves that were hit out or into the net.
"I feel like we lost a lot of points due to our missed serves," Jaime said. "Decisions were made that weren't the right decisions. We need to put up more of a fight. They didn't put any pressure on us. The reason they came back was because of our mistakes. We were rushing (our serves). We really want to get it in, but we have to focus and picture the ball going in before we serve."
In the second game, three service aces by Mary Williams and a drop shot by Jaime led to a 6-0 run that staked Chatham to a 16-10 lead. The Lady Cougars also led, 18-14, before Randolph took seven straight points on the way to the win. In the third game, a 7-3 edge by Chatham also was wiped out by Randolph.
"We need to refresh and reset after every point and forget what happens on the previous point," Jaime said. "Don't dwell on what happened. If one person messes up, we all mess up. We just restart and get the next one. We have to stay at a constant, high level."
Senior setter Alex Shaw finished with six service aces, 14 assists and two digs for Chaham, which received five aces and a kill from Williams; four kills from Katie Hauck; two kills and 13 digs from Sara Szalay, and 20 digs, one ace and a kill from Molly Brown.
"Our serving was a little off and our decision making wasn't the best," Chatham coach Anna Amster said. "Hey, second game of the season. I think they know that we could have won and should have won. Randolph is the kind of team that if you give them an opening, they're going to take it. You can't relax. If you work hard in the beginning, you don't have to work that hard at the end."
Chatham senior Alex Shaw serves during match vs. Randolph
Chatham travels to meet West Morris on Thursday at 4 p.m.