By: Dylan Webb, Sports Editor
After an impressive seven game winning streak was ended by a loss to Western Washington University (WWU), the SFU Volleyball team rebounded with a dominating straight-sets win over Montana State University Billings. With the win, the Clan moved their regular season in-conference record to 10–4, with the WWU Vikings responsible for two of the only four blemishes on an otherwise strong 2019 season.
In the loss to WWU, the Clan came up short against a first-place team that continues to ride a wave of momentum. The Vikings have lost just one of their 21 games this season and SFU was, once again, unable to overcome a squad that has consistently executed a winning formula. While the Clan did claim the second set after blowing an early lead in the first set, that was the extent of their success as WWU took control from the third set on.
In their second game of the week, the Clan righted the ship with a straight-sets pounding of the Montana State University Billing Yellowjackets. SFU was able to out-hit Montana State University by a large margin, recording 45 kills to the Yellowjackets’ 29. Freshman Middle Blocker Kalyn Hartmann had a standout performance in the win with three aces, four blocks, and 13 kills.
As the team moves rapidly toward the playoffs, with only six games left on their regular season schedule, The Peak checked in with head coach Gina Schmidt to see which areas of play she felt the team has improved in the most since the start of the season.
“Our team has improved in several areas over the course of the season, but I think it’s been a combination of our ability to sideout efficiently and score points when we are serving,” she said. Schmidt also noted that the team’s “block and defense has been doing a good job of making it difficult for our opponents to get kills.”
Given the progress the Clan has made in these areas, The Peak asked Schmidt what role the new additions to the coaching staff have played in facilitating these on-court improvements that the Clan has made throughout the season.
“Mandy Cao has been a great addition to our staff,” Schmidt responded, pointing to the fact that, “her international experience brings a fresh perspective to the team.” Schmidt also noted that, on a more basic level, “it’s helpful having more coaches in the gym as it allows our players to hear different voices and receive lots of feedback.”
The Clan will now look ahead to the final two home games of their regular season schedule in which they will host both University of Alaska teams. The game against the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Saturday November 16 is Seniors Night for the Clan as the team honours the achievements of its graduating players.