Volleyball splits two games

On Aug. 30, the Seattle Pacific volleyball team opened its season with a 3-0 loss to Sonoma State. The Falcons struggled to perform as a team with entirely new group dynamics. The following week, they lost once again to Sonoma State 3-0 . After this, they were determined to never fall to another team twice. And they haven’t.

The Falcons have won six of their last eight games, performing better as a team every game as they get used to moving around and playing with each other on the court. Despite their improved teamwork skills, the Falcons dropped a hard-fought, close match to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday. The team that played was a far cry from the team that had stepped out against Sonoma.

Despite the loss, senior setter Shelby Swanson had her 10th double-double of the season with 46 assists and 14 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Madi Cavell smashed her old career high of digs by four, coming up with 16 digs. Despite these solid performances, the Falcons could not pick it up in the fifth game.

“We had some bad passing, although for the most part, we were passing pretty well,” head coach Chris Johnson said. “We just didn’t make good adjustments in the fourth game, and we couldn’t get going in the fifth game.”

It was hard for the women to lose the game after beating the Crusaders at Royal Brougham 3-2 earlier in the season. After the disappointing loss to NNU, SPU came back determined to defeat Central Washington on Saturday, and did just that. Not only did they come back and beat CWU, four Falcon players beat or tied personal career highs.

Swanson beat her previous record of 60 single-match assists by 10. The 70 assists she put up came within six of the single-match conference record of 76, set by former SPU star Jenna Von Moos. Cavell once again broke a career record with 16 kills and 17 digs in the game against CWU. This was her second career double-double.

Freshman defensive specialist Breanne Wiekamp tied her career high with 29 digs after taking over at the libero spot when sophomore Brianna Leenders went out with an injury late in the second game. Senior outside hitter Cailin Fellows beat her previous record of 21 kills by six, ending up with 27 kills on the night.

“I had a feeling tonight was going to be a good night – but I had no idea to what extent,” Fellows said. “It was just really one of those nights where it felt like everything I had been working on for the past few weeks was really coming together. I’ve been wanting to break that 21-kill barrier for a while now.”

Fellows now has 830 career kills. The last game that she set her career high of kills was against CWU when they met at Royal Brougham earlier this season.

“Cailin was just fantastic, no two ways about it,” Johnson said. “And she had a greater passing responsibility tonight, and she really stepped up and passed well for us.”

The Falcons look to continue smashing old records as they move into a two-game home stretch this week.

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Title: Volleyball splits two games | Author: HANNAH GLESENER | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2012-10-31 | Internal ID: 8386