As music rumbled and the crowd’s cheers echoed throughout the Wolves Den, the Sonoma State University women’s volleyball team embarked on a weekend-long tournament against multiple challengers.
Thursday evening, the Seawolves faced off California Baptist Lancers. With California Baptist challenging Sonoma State’s defense, Lauren Hackett delivered vigorous offense for the Lancers by showing off her deadly spikes and kills. Fortunately, Sonoma State fought back against the heated plays.
Two players in particular, Kelsey McIntire and Rachel Andrews worked as powerful blockades against the Lancers, blocking off some potential kills.
“They had some amazing front row players, so getting blocks on them felt especially good,” said McIntire. “Blocking also helps take pressure off our back row players.”
Top hitters for the Seawolves for Thursday night’s game were players Morgan Annala, Kelsey McIntire and Rachel Andrews, challenging the Lancers with a combined total of 26 kills.
The Seawolves strategized against the Lancers to gain back points through tipping the ball into the Lancers open holes.
“Cal Baptist has a big strong block and they were digging or blocking a lot of my hard hits. I decided to change things up a started tipping,” said McIntire. “It was good practice for me, I had to figure out new ways of scoring.”
The Seawolves struggled to compete with the Lancers, but were eventually defeated. Sonoma State took set one, 25-23, while the Lancers took the last three sets, scoring, 17-25, 19-25, and 15-25.
Despite a discouraging loss against California Baptist, the Seawolves continued to fight throughout the weekend, squaring off against the Western Washington Vikings on Friday. The first set was a back and forth rally, with both teams coming back to tie it up 11 times. After a fierce battle, the Vikings took the first set 25-19. The Seawolves handed Washington their second taste of victory in the following set, losing 25-18.
Coming into the third round slightly apprehensive, the Seawolves gave it their all to tie up the game seven times. Unfortunately, the Vikings were able to take the overall lead by finishing the set 25-19.
Saturday played out much like the Seawolves’ previous games, wrapping up their four-game losing streak against Dixie State and University Alaska Anchorage. Sonoma State’s final two competitors of the weekend handed the women back-to-back sweeps.
Even though the volleyball team was unable to leave the showcase with a win under their belt, the players still manage to keep perspective.
“This tournament was a great indicator of where we stand as a team right now. I think we fought hard in all of the matches we played over the weekend and our effort was great, but there are more technical skills that we need to perfect during practice to make it come together going forward into conference,” said Calan Seitz, who totaled 23 kills in the four games.
The Seawolves look to snap their streak against the San Francisco State Gators on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.