Clan earn first wins of the year


It didn’t take long for new head coach Gina Schmidt to make an impact with the SFU volleyball team. Just three games into their 2013 season, the Clan already have two wins under their belt.

Last season, in an overall of 26 games, the Clan had just four ‘W’s.

After dropping their season opener in five sets, the Clan got their first win of the 2013 season with a three sets to none victory over the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Wolfpack last Saturday. Later that same day, they topped the Columbia Bible College (CBC) Bearcats with a three sets to one win.

“I thought we did a good job of coming back from a disappointing loss [in the opener] and just playing steady throughout the whole game,” said Schmidt of the victory, the first of her head coaching career. “[TRU was] able to adjust to whatever came at them today.”

“I think we can take things away from every match. I hope our team takes away the positives from this match and the things we have to learn from as well.”

Surrey native Kelsey Robinson led the way for the Clan in the opener, posting 15 kills and 12 digs, both team highs. She had support, however: junior Amanda Renkema followed with 10 kills and freshman Alison McKay recorded 10 digs in her first start at libero.

A 25–13 set was sandwiched between two 25–23 sets — a welcome sight, as the Clan too often found themselves on the wrong end of close games over the past years. But the straight-set victory set the Clan up to get above .500 for the first time since opening last season 2–0, and the team didn’t miss the opportunity.

The Clan came out flying against CBC, storming out of the gates with a 25–9 victory in the first set, and a 25–19 win in the second. But the Bearcats would edge the Clan in the third, taking the set 25–23, evoking memories of a few blown leads last year. But the Clan showed resolve that they hadn’t had in years past and took the fourth set 25–22, and the match three sets to one.

Renkema and Robinson again led the team in kills, with 12 and 10 respectively. McKay too had another impressive outing, racking up 13 digs in the match, second only to junior Alanna Chan’s 14.

“I love the way this team is coming together,” said Clan freshman McKay. “We have a great coaching staff and great players. I’ve just been working hard and am glad we got some results today.”

The success of this team will ultimately be measured by whether these types of results can continue. It’s early yet, but the team’s improvement — and optimism — is evident.