After 22 straight victories and a conference championship, the Sonoma State University women’s volleyball team’s dominating run came to a sad end.
The No. 3 seeded Seawolves were upset by the No. 6 seed UC San Diego Tritons in the first round of the NCAA championship tournament at the Alaskan Airlines arena in Anchorage, Alaska last Friday.
The Seawolves steam rolled their way through the CCAA conference championship tournament, winning 3 games including a 3-2 match against Cal State San Bernardino in the CCAA final.
The 22nd straight victory sealed the CCAA crown for the back-to-back champs. The Seawolves were proud to take home some CCAA hardware.
“It was really exciting winning the CCAA tourney because we worked really hard all season to win it,” said sophomore setter Calan Seitz. “It’s very rewarding to know that all our hard work payed off.”
The Seawolves season was not over yet, after they earned a trip to Alaska for the west region NCAA tournament.
They drew a matchup with a familiar foe, the UC San Diego Tritons.
The Seawolves beat the the Tritons earlier this season in a 3-2 match.
The journey to the snowy north of Alaska was a memorable experience for the Seawolves itself.
“Traveling to Alaska with the team was an unforgettable experience. We enjoyed every minute of the trip together,” said Seitz. “Especially knowing that it could be the last of the season.”
The Seawolves’ winning ways looked like they would continue up in Alaska after the first set of the match in which the Seawolves jumped out to an early lead, winning the first set in rather easy fashion 25-15.
Momentum shifted in favor of UC San Diego for the remainder of the match.
The Tritons went on to win the next 3 sets and completing the upset of the Seawolves. The Seawolves led the game in errors and were also out hit and out blocked.
“We gave it our all just like we always do, but this time it just ended up not being enough,” said Seitz.
The Seawolves will not let this loss in the NCAA tournament take anything away from their historic season.
“It was definitely an emotional loss for us. I speak for the whole team when I say that we are still extremely proud of our season no matter how it ended,” said Seitz. “The loss didn’t take anything away from our amazing season because we are all very proud on how far we have gone.”
Sonoma State will say goodbye to three seniors this year, including Seawolf legend Caylie Seitz. Seitz had one of the most decorated volleyball careers in Sonoma State history.
The Santa Rosa product was recently honored with CCAA player of the year and CCAA tournament MVP.
Seitz was also named West Region player of the year, which was a first for the volleyball program. Seitz stands at second in all of Division II in career kills with 1676.
Caylie’s sister, Calan, said her sister’s hard work paid off. Caylie had an incredible career at Sonoma State, being an impactful player on and off the court.
“She was a very hard working teammate that inspired and motivated all of us,” said Calan. “I can honestly say that Caylie worked hard not for the records, not for the awards; she worked hard for the team.”
Seitz is being considered for Division II All-American honors and honorees will be announced in the near future.
Western Washington would go on to beat UC San Diego in the semi-finals, and then went on to beat UC San Bernadino in the finals, which punched themselves a ticket to the women’s NCAA Elite Eight championship tournament in Tampa, Florida.