The SFU Clan volleyball team (21-7) hosted Montana State University Billings (7-23) for their last regular season game this past Saturday. They wrapped up the season nicely, winning three straight sets on senior night to seal the win. It was a great sendoff for some of the great senior talent that SFU has and that have served the program well.
Four seniors were in the starting lineup for the Clan this Saturday. Emma Jennings, Alison McKay, Devon May, and Tamara Nipp all played their last games in West Gym, each contributing to the win.
“We wanted to play well on senior night and I think we did that. A lot of people contributed and I thought we did a good job with our offense. Everybody was in rhythm tonight. Overall a great team performance,” head coach Gina Schmidt said of the team.
When asked if the rest of team felt the need to perform for their senior teammates, she added, “Yeah, it’s always special playing your last home game, and also last match of the season against the home crowd. They wanted to play well for the seniors and the team as a whole after a good overall season to finish on a high note.”
The offense was certainly in rhythm, as Nipp racked up a staggering 45 assists in the contest. The Clan was strong in their defense as well, as McKay added 19 digs to her season total.
The two-time GNAC defensive player of the year finished her last regular season game proud of her teammates’ effort. “It was nice getting the win because it shows the improvement of this team and everything we’ve worked for. It was nice to end on home court with the W and everyone played really well,” she said when asked about how she felt ending the regular season on a high note.
It’s always special playing your last home game, and also last match of the season against the home crowd
The Clan will now wait in anticipation for the selection results for the NCAA national tournament. Currently, the Clan sit in third place in the West Region. To qualify for nationals, they will need to hold onto at least a top five finish.
When asked if the team will now turn their attention to playoffs, a place SFU has never been, coach Schmidt indicated that they are already on her mind. “That’s definitely what we’re preparing for,” she said. “I think knowing the competition and having seen a couple of the other teams let’s us go in with a mindframe that we’re not just happy to be there. There’s more to accomplish.”
McKay echoed her coach’s statement, saying that, “I think we’re pretty pumped. I think after tonight we’re definitely going to start prepping for that and getting some good practices in.”
All attention turns now to the selection show today at 430, where the Clan will find out for sure if they will be competing in the postseason. After wrapping up their best regular season of all-time, it seems only fitting that they move onto to the NCAA tournament.