Pack falls to Conley on Senior Night

Published 9:02 pm Thursday, October 6, 2011

Washington seniors Morgan Bryant (left) and Sydney Gurkin pose for a picture after playing their final home game at Washington High School on Thursday. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

The Washington volleyball team played its final home game of the season on Thursday, and though the finale did not go as planned, the Pam Pack’s loss to D.H. Conley could not dampen the spirits of seniors Morgan Bryant and Sydney Gurkin.

It’s been a tough four years for the senior duo, but their final one with the Pam Pack was a little brighter as they helped first-year coach Kelly Slade win four games, which is three more than they won the previous three seasons.

Both Gurkin and Bryant took pride in knowing that they are leaving Washington with the team headed in the right direction.

“It means a lot to me,” said Gurkin, who has been on the team for four years. “We have worked a lot better in the end and it means a lot to get those wins. It took a lot to get to where we are now. A lot of people didn’t believe in us but we showed them what we can do at the end.”

Bryant, who has played back row for three seasons with Washington, shared Gurkin’s sentiment.

“Washington has come a long way with its volleyball program, we’re starting to win games,” Bryant said.

Slade said the duo’s presence on and off the court has meant a lot to the rookie coach.

“We only have two seniors in Sydney and Morgan, and they have both been great leaders,” Slade said. “They have been great with the younger players and they have been a huge help to me getting this program turned around.”

Also helping the team move in the right direction are budding stars such as net players Megan Corey, a sophomore, and Adrianna Tyson, a freshman.

Corey led the Pam Pack with five kills and one block, while Tyson, Kaylee Jackson and Justyce McKissick each had two kills.

On Thursday, D.H. Conley topped Washington 25-18, 25-14, 25-15, but Slade was happy with the effort put forth by her team.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted it, but we played them better than we did the last time,” Slade said. “That shows me that we are growing and improving and we’re making strides to get better.”

Despite having some good young net players, the Vikings had the edge up front on Thursday.

“They have a lot of really strong hitters,” Slade said. “They’re really good at placing the ball.”

Washington will look to rebound on Tuesday when it plays at South Central.