Clan volleyball earns second straight sweep

Nicole Chevrier (#14) had four kills on ten attempts, while Tamara Nipp (#13) had 43 assists.

The SFU volleyball team earned its second straight sweep on November 10, taking down Saint Martin’s University in three consecutive sets. The Clan was impressive throughout, leading for most of the game and never relinquishing control. The team won each of its sets 25–21, 25–13, and 25–19, respectively.

A late push at the end of the third set that tied the game was not enough to give Saint Martin’s the edge it needed. A veteran-laden Clan team managed to clamp down on defence while maintaining its strong offensive play.

“I think we put them in trouble with some serving, which is one way to get them out of their offence,” said head coach Gina Schmidt when asked about how they were able to stay focused down the stretch. “I think our hitters did a good job of mixing it up and finding ways to score.”

With only three games left in the season after Thursday’s, the matchup with Saint Martin’s was an important stepping stone leading up to the playoffs. Currently ranked third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), the Clan is poised to maintain this level of play and get into the playoffs.

“[Playoffs are] not something we’re thinking about. We’re just focusing on getting the W. Our focus is on how we execute. If we execute, then those things will take care of themselves. It’s really about playing our style of volleyball and playing up to our potential,” coach Schmidt said on whether or not they are looking forward to the playoffs yet.

Two-time GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, Alison McKay, echoed this statement: “Playoffs are in sight but we’re still taking it game by game [. . .] We’re not looking too far ahead, we’re just trying to stay realistic.”

McKay, who had 17 digs in the contest, is just one of the seniors in the Clan starting line-up. With a veteran core, many members of the team are relied upon to keep the team focused during moments like the late run by Saint Martin’s.

“We executed things on our side. We took care of the ball and got it done,” McKay said when asked how they closed out the game.

“We do have several seniors on the floor and that certainly helps. They’ve been through a lot in their time here and we rely on them to have that poise in all situations,” coach Schmidt said about the seniors on her starting line-up.

The Clan improved to 19–6 overall and 12–5 within the conference after the win against Saint Martin’s. The team is currently ranked third in GNAC as well as in the whole Western region. It is important to note that the team is behind Western Washington University (WWU) in GNAC rankings because of WWU’s better conference record, but is higher in the Western region because of the Clan’s better overall record.

Clan volleyball plays at home again on November 12 in West Gym before heading on the road against Western Washington University on November 15.