SFU ended up with the victory on Thursday night, but it was a nail biter right down to the last second.
Playing against the Seattle Pacific University (SPU) Falcons, the Clan had many opportunities to end the game, but they had a hard time finishing, and the Falcons were relentless.
“[SPU] played very well actually. They kept going and they were doing everything right and blocking us, so props to them, but I’m glad we came out on top,” said outside hitter Mackenzie Dunham.
SFU started out the game with four straight points, including two back-to-back kills by Kelsey Robinson, and won the first set 25-17. Robinson had seven kills in just the first set.
The second set did not go as smoothly for the Clan, with the Falcons notching the first two points. SFU had a hard time defending against SPU’s attack, as they often seemed to be too spread out.
The Clan would surrender the set to the Falcons, before taking the third by a score of 25-17.
Now leading the game two sets to one, SFU jumped out to the early lead in the fourth, with Robinson’s 13th kill opening the set. SPU, however, took the lead quickly, eventually gaining a five-point lead to make it 10-5. The Clan took back the lead, however, by scoring six straight points.
SFU eventually took a sizable seven-point lead, bringing the score to 21-14, and looked primed for the victory. The Falcons would claw back, however, and with the help of a five-point streak, win the set, forcing the fifth set.
The Clan once again jumped out to the early lead, up three points 13-10. SPU fought back once again to tie it 13-13, but SFU finally mustered up the strength to finish the game with a kill by Christine Howlett, which ended the set 16-14.
“I was very relieved when we pulled that one out,” said Dunham, who had 12 kills, tied with Howlett for the second-most kills to Robinson’s 19. “We worked very hard as a team and sometimes you just need to give it a little more just to keep ahead.”
With the victory, the Clan move from fifth place to fourth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) with a conference record of 7-4 and 13-6 overall. The seven conference wins are a best for the Clan — whose record was six last season — and they still have seven games left to improve that tally.