Falcons win two five-sets in a row for disabled

Seattle Pacific University women’s volleyball team is 4-2 in the GNAC conference after last win

Coming off a thrilling five-set win against Saint Martin’s on Sept. 26 in Royal Brougham Pavilion, the women’s volleyball team pulled off yet another five-set win on Sept. 28 against the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets at Alterowitz Gymnasium.
Last season, the SPU volleyball team was 2-6 in matches that went to all five sets. With odds like those, one would think that going to the fifth set would not be very successful for the Falcons. However, this is not the case for this year’s squad. They are now 6-1 in matchess that went to all five sets after their recent match in Billings.
Senior Hannah Lautenbach said, “I think for a lot of teams, ‘nerve-wracking’ could be the right word for the fifth game because so much work has already been put in, yet so much still has to be done to get the result you want. However, I honestly think that our team thrives in close games [and] pressure situations.”
Thriving is just what the Falcons did in the fifth set of the match. While controlling the serve and hitting 0.400 in the final set, the Falcons took the lead and won the final set 15-5.
SPU closed out the final set with two big kills, one each by senior outside hitter Colleen Hannigan and sophomore middle blocker Nicole Tchabanov.
When asked what the key to victory was, Lautenbach said, “I think resiliency was one big key that led us to victory [last] Thursday. During a game, especially a 5-gamer, there will no doubt be adjustments that will have to be made. One way to be the better team is to recognize fast, make changes, and be able to be mindful of the little things.”
Another key to their success was flexibility. “[Coach] Abbie and Korrin have taught us the importance of flexibility within a match. On Thursday, we were able to adjust to Billings and stay resilient with our game plan,” said Lautenbach.
As for the other four sets, the Yellowjackets claimed set 1 with a score of 25-18 and set 3 with a score of 28-26 while the Falcons won set 2 with a score of 25-18 and set 4 with a score of 25-15.
Sophomore outside hitter Gabby Oddo was a powerhouse for the Falcons, tallying 23 kills for the night.
This surpasses her number of career high kills of 22 which she set just a few weeks ago at Alaska Fairbanks.
“Gabby Oddo had a great game because she played smart. Not only did she rip a couple of balls, but she knew when to throw in a tip as well,” said teammate Symone Tran.
Outside hitter Launtenbach, junior middle blocker Shaun Crespi, and Tchabanov also notched significant kills, having 12, ten and eight respectively. For the night, the Falcon’s hitting percentage was .222 which was well above the Yellowjackets at .143.
Adding to SPU’s strong frontline on defense was Tchabanov and Lautenbach, having seven and five blocks respectively.
Junior setter Symone Tran dished out 55 assists for her teammates, while junior libero Amanda Ganete was able to pass up 24 digs for the night.
“In games where we do have to fight our way back, I think the key is confidence,” said Tran.
“We have confidence in our own abilities, in our teammate’s abilities, and in our coach’s abilities. Confidence can go a long way in a long match. We also focus on taking the game point-by-point,” he said.
The Falcons advance to an overall record of 9-5, specifically 4-2 in the GNAC. This puts the squad at fourth overall in the conference.
Looking ahead, SPU will host Northwest Nazarene, ranked 12th in the nation and 1st in the GNAC, this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
Oddo said, “As a team we are just keeping in mind that every team is beatable on any given night. If we do the little things right, it will be a good night.”

This article was posted in the section Sports.

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