Western volleyball ends season on good note and looks forward to even better season in 2012
Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 17:05
Western volleyball started off the season by announcing in July that former Western outside hitter, Sylvia Herrold, will fill the position of student assistant coach.
“After Herrold informed us a year ago that she would not be cleared to play, we struggled to find someone to be a good fit on the right side,” stated junior outside hitter Danielle Reese.
Reese continued, “We tried multiple different options, and everyone was really helpful and willing to make changes. We also worked really hard towards making fewer errors in games, which we accomplished and improved on from the previous year. I think one of the biggest accomplishments for our team this past year was playing with a very young team, and constantly trying to find a good fit for a right side hitter.”
The season started off with the team being picked to finish fourth in the GNAC and played their first game against number two team California State University at San Bernadino. The Coyotes swept Western in three games with their offense taking little time to find its rhythm. The Wolves searched for a win until the last day at the Cal State San Bernardino Invitational when they had a victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills.
September 8 marked the career high for Reese with 23 kills and 14 digs leading Western to a win over Alaska Anchorage in the GNAC opener for both teams. Also posting big that night was Corynn Kopra with double-double career highs with 14 kills and 22 digs. Finishing the weekend off in Alaska was a victory against Alaska Fairbanks.
Continuing their momentum, Western faced Simon Fraser gaining their third win of conference play with Brenna Peterson leading the team with 18 assists. Two days later, Western Washington handed Western their first loss in conference play, coming back after Western won the first two sets of the night. Samantha Ward had a season high that night with 16 kills having only two errors in 34 attempts posting a .412 hitting percentage.
After two losses against Seattle Pacific and Montana State University-Billings on the road, Western hosted Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene, leading both to wins for the team.
“Fifteen kills is the magic number,” stated Western’s head coach Brad Saindon. “When you get 15 kills, you win about 99 percent of the matches.” During the game against Western Washington, the team posted 18 kills in the first set, 17 in the second and 14 in the third. The weekend ended with a three set win over Northwest Nazarene, leaving Western with a 5-3 conference record.
The Wolves went for one more win against Saint Martin’s before losing in five sets against Western Washington on the road. Western finished the season with seven more wins and one loss against Seattle Pacific, leaving Western with a 14-4 win-loss in conference and 18-8 overall.
“In my view, we had a great year. We have a really good volleyball team that is in a competitive conference. Last year we finished fourth, which is slightly deceptive. There was a three way tie for wins and, because of how they determine things, we got dropped to fourth,” stated Saindon. “We have improved over previous years, and we only graduated one defensive specialist this year. We have almost a full team returning for this coming season. We are one of the favorites to win conference and I am very excited about that.”
Saindon continued, “I feel that having strength and conditioning coach Cori Metzgar around this year had a difference for the team. The team bought into what she was having them do and we are starting to see the outcome of some serious training.”
“Goals for next season are to become the GNAC conference champs and to go to the regional tournament next season. I am the only one left on the team that has experienced the [Western] volleyball team winning a conference championship and going to the regional tournament, I want to experience this again, and experience it with the rest of my teammates next fall. We have a great chance to complete these goals and I cannot wait to see what this team can really do,” said Reese.
Reese continued, “My favorite part about being on the [Western] volleyball team is always having my teammates as a support group. We experience all the ups and downs together. They are my best friends. I also really like all the traveling we get to do. Sometimes it is really tiring, but going different places with the team is always an adventure.”
Early this month, the recruiting class was announced, and the 2012 schedule was put online. If you are interested in any of this information, it is available at www.wouwolves.com.