CHATHAM, NJ - It wasn't a case of getting off to a slow start or wilting under the pressure. It's just that to beat a team like Mendham, the Chatham girls volleyball team needed to play better than just good.
Facing the powerful right arm of Mendham's Lauren Wilcock, the Cougars were within reach in each set, bowing to the Minutement 25-19 and 25-20 on Tuesday. Mendham improved to 11-3.
"We need to capitalize on the good points a lot more than we do," Chatham coach Anna Amster said. "In the second set, we were up in a couple of instances. But Mendham is not a team that is going to take a back seat and let us have it. Once we were up and things were going our way, we didn't push the gas pedal enough."
Lauren Burke's block gave Chatham (8-7) a 6-4 edge in the second set and Burke's service ace later made it 9-8 for the Cougars. But Wilcock, who finished with 12 kills, posed a difficult defensive task for Chatham in digging out her high-speed hits.
"The difference for us was not capitalizing on their weaknesses by putting the ball where it makes it more difficult for them to get it to their best player (Wilcock) and give us an advantage," Amster said. "I would love to see them again down the road."
Burke finished with nine kills, three blocks, four digs and a service ace for Chatham, which received 19 assists from Brenda Jaroker and 11 digs and two service aces from Eesha Nagpal.
Chatham libero Eesha Nagpal serves up an ace vs. Mendham