The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
Volleyball team has won three of last four games
By HANNAH GLESSNER, Staff Reporter
Published: October 17, 2012
The Seattle Pacific volleyball team has finally found its groove as a team, winning three out of their last four games, which included two clean sweeps against Western Oregon and St. Martin’s.
“We’re definitely going the right direction. I’m feeling good about the team right now,” head coach Chris Johnson said after Saturday’s victory at Saint Martin’s. “We’ve just had continued good, steady play – just solid hitting, and we passed pretty well.”
Contributing to the success of the Falcons this year are four freshmen players. This includes Brielle Van Zonneveld, an outside hitter from Lynden, Wash., and three players from Orange County, Calif: libero Breanne Wiekamp, middle blocker Jackie Arnold and outside hitter Ellie Britt.
These three girls used to play against each other as rivals in high school. This year they have left behind any animosity and joined as teammates. They have bonded over many the new experiences they have had together as freshmen, including the duties of filling up the water cart, getting armbands and all the other little tasks freshmen are put up to.
Many of the girls did not know they wanted to play for SPU until visiting campus.
“What sold SPU for me was my visit here for volleyball,” Breanne Wiekamp said. “I love the homey feel of Queen Anne and how gorgeous the campus and the environment is. A couple weeks after my visit, I committed, and my decision was made.”
Wiekamp has played in every game and put up 191 digs, breaking three career-high digs per game this season. Though she didn’t imagine herself here at SPU a year ago, she has been loving every moment since as she learns to keep up with the higher levels of intensity and competition that there are at the college level. Another unexpectedly energized aspect of college volleyball for Wiekamp is the crowds, which includes heckling.
“I got asked if I needed a step stool to get the ball or if I needed an ID to get into PG-13 movies,” Wiekamp said. “You always just have to laugh at the jokes, brush them off and keep playing your game.”
Britt had hesitations of Washington before she made her decision.
“In the beginning of this process, I actually didn’t even want to leave the state of California to go to college, but when I got an email from Coach Johnson, my dad told me to give it a second look,” Britt said. “When I did, I fell in love with the school, the volleyball program and the city of Seattle itself.”
Britt has played in all but three games this season, putting up 65 kills and 11 blocks. Hawaii was one of the highlights of her season so far, not just for the tournament, but also for the tropical vacation- one of the sunnier perks of playing college volleyball. Less enjoyable for Britt has been the adjustment to balancing her responsibilities as a student on top of the requirements as an SPU student.
“Being a student-athlete, I have developed a pretty good sense of time management, so I usually have time to fit in an occasional movie night or dinner date on top of all the schoolwork,” Britt said.
Through their short tenure at SPU, the girls have come to love the sense of community that SPU has in the dorms and around campus.