Downingtown East clinches Ches-Mont National

UWCHLAN – This is familiar territory for Downingtown East (12-0, 16-3).

For the second straight season the Cougars have won the Ches-Mont National division title, knocking off Octorara (1-11, 3-14) in straight sets (25-9, 25-12, 25-11) as East honored their six seniors on senior night.

Head coach Peggy Hopton brought East their first Ches-Mont title last season and they have defended their crown nicely, as they are only a win against Downingtown West on Wednesday from an undefeated season in the conference.

“It was a really nice win,’ Hopton said. “We did not let Octorara into the match which we have not been able to do that much this year. The girls were really focused tonight and wanted to win with an explanation point on senior night.’

All six of the seniors saw action on Monday night.

Lauren Mueller led the bunch with nine kills and also added seven digs and two aces. Brooke Dugan was right behind her pace with seven kills and three digs. Senior co-captain Rachael Graham had an all-around great match with three kills, six digs, three aces, and 19 assists. Senior Sarah Goncharoff was a star on defense with 16 digs. Margot Gargus had four kills, and four aces and senior Jennifer Matzo added two kills.

“It was so much fun tonight,’ Mueller commented. “We definitely showed how well we work together as a team. We are all best friends, the bond we have amongst us seniors is awesome. This is the best senior night we have had, the atmosphere was great.’

The Cougars dominated the Braves the entire match. There were many unforced errors from Octorara early on which led to them being in an early hole. Tamara Miller was one of Octorara’s bright spots however; she stood in their on many of Downingtown’s spikes, collecting 12 digs. Reina Eckman played well at the net, adding four kills and three blocks. Octorara played hard the entire match but they did not have enough talent to keep up with East.

“This was our best game yet,’ Graham said. “Our underclassmen are great, they made the night so special. It was so much fun; we just need to keep this going for districts.’

The Cougars are not going to be resting any starters when they play their last regular season game on Wednesday at their rival school, Downingtown West. East takes pride in staying undefeated in league play.

“We are treating that game just the same as the other games this season,’ Hopton said. “West is out to get us, we want to stay undefeated and do not want to break our momentum by resting players; we need to keep playing hard.’

The district playoffs begin next Tuesday which Downingtown East will be sure to be hosting a first round game. Octorara concludes their season at Bishop Shanahan on Wednesday.

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