Chico State women’s club volleyball jumps into action

Sophomore+Taylor+Guy+attempts+a+kill+during+practice.+Photo+credit%3A+Jordan+Olesen

Sophomore Taylor Guy attempts a kill during practice. Photo credit: Jordan Olesen

Anna Baytosh

The Chico State women’s club volleyball team is back and ready to serve up some wins.

Last spring a winning record took the team to the regional league championships where they were defeated before the final round. After earning a spot at the annual collegiate club volleyball National Tournament in Kentucky, the team was close to winning a national title in the silver division.

This year the team is stronger than ever with eight returning players. The team hopes that last year’s team chemistry will transfer over into this spring season.

The team’s most significant talent is its hitting power. This group of girls is known for their heavy arms in offensive situations. It is important to provide front row strength in order to dominate an opponent’s defensive strategies.

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Sophomore Maggie Laskovics dives for the ball during practice. Photo credit: Jordan Olesen

 

Sable Villascusa, a former Chico State women’s volleyball player, has taken the role of head coach this year. Villascusa says her approach from the beginning has been to apply a defensive emphasis.

“We are trying to mold our girls into more two-contact players,” Villascusa said.

Even though the team’s specific strength is offense, Villascusa says she aims to make each player more versatile and productive at each position.

A returning senior setter, Lauren Klinger, says she enjoys the team dynamic. As president of the team, Klinger is an essential part of the program and knows it well.

“We have a lot of utility players. We can switch people around so they can play middle, outside or even defensive specialist,” Klinger said.

Villascusa says most of the players are adaptable pin hitters that can easily learn new positions and strategies. This speaks to the team’s commendable ability to overcome adversity.

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Sophomore Vienna Auerwerck practices digging out a ball. Photo credit: Jordan Olesen

 

A junior newcomer outside/middle, Taylor Moriarty, says she already feels very involved with the team, even though practices only started a week prior.

“Biggest talent is probably our communication,” Moriarty said.

The tight bond of this team is noteworthy and will prove to challenge other club teams. Villascusa says she is excited for a rematch against the Stanford club team.

“Last year Stanford was a rival for us. We always thought that we should beat them. We ended up with really close games, just barely losing to them,” Villascusa said.

Another match on the team’s horizon is against the UC Davis women’s club volleyball team.

“UC Davis is always our biggest match,” Klinger said.

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Junior Julianne Tyler practices diving for a ball during practice. Photo credit: Jordan Olesen

 

This team’s goal is to make their way to nationals in Kentucky once again to compete at the highest level of collegiate women’s club volleyball.

“The girls are very dedicated to each other and to winning nationals. That’s their big goal. To not only go to nationals, but win it,” Villascusa said.

With these big matches and a full season of games ahead of it, the Chico State women’s club volleyball team is underway. The team’s first home game against UC Davis is on Feb. 28 in Shurmer Gym.

“The girls are constantly asking themselves: ‘How can we get better?’” Villascusa said.

Anna Baytosh can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter @anna_baytosh.