The Orion

Hein hits milestone, squad begins conference play

Nick Reddy

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Cody Hein, Chico State women's volleyball head coach, recently secured his 200th win with the team, making him the winningest coach in the program's history. Photo courtesy of Chico wildcats.

Cody Hein might say that he and the Chico State women’s volleyball team have their sights set on a postseason appearance, and while that may be true, its hard to deny that the Wildcats’ sizzling hot start to the season has been a positive sign.

The ‘Cats won their first eight matches of the 2015 season behind five three-set sweeps. They only lost five sets in that span, dropping a couple to a strong California Baptist team, but still pulled out with the win. The two defeats came by tough five-set contests at the Western Oregon Invitational on Sept. 12. While these were great team accomplishments, there was one noteworthy individual milestone.

With a victory over William Jessup University on Sept. 7, Hein picked up his 200th victory as head coach for the Wildcats. Hein is already the winningest coach in program history and has no signs of slowing down. The 2006 California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year has his young crew in good position to make a run at the inaugural NCAA Championship Tournament this November in La Jolla.

Seventh-year assistant coach, Tommy Gott, is pleased about the team’s recent success as well as the head coach’s accomplishment.

“I think the 200th win is awesome, it totally shows success in his career,” he said. “What we’re doing works and is successful in the conference and against who we play.”

Gott said the team was not aware of their head coach’s impending milestone until recently.

“We never talked about it once, the goal was just to start the season strong,” said Gott, referring to how Hein’s 200th win was reached in six matches. Hein entered the fall 2015 campaign with 194 wins as the Wildcats’ top coach.

“We’re always happy when we get off to an early start and get some big wins and confidence,” Gott said. “Playing Cal Baptist and beating them in five was a big win. We learned a lot about our team and were able to use some of our depth with different rotations.”

Hein himself was not keeping track of the victory counter, but instead was more focused on getting the team through its first six matches in four days.

“I was not aware of it, but it’s a testament to recruiting. We’ve recruited deep, we have talent and we have good character to win,” Hein said. “We have a bunch of talented girls with good character.”

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Women's volleyball head coach, Cody Hein, talks to his athletes during Tuesday's game against Cal State University East Bay. Photo credit: John Domogma

With the brunt of CCAA play still ahead, the ‘Cats will need to take care of business against the league’s lesser teams and then aim to knock off the perennial top tier squads. Huge home matches against perennial league powers Sonoma State and Cal State San Bernardino loom in the coming weeks. With the record eight match winning streak over, the ‘Cats will now redirect their attention to playing the San Francisco State University Gators on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

Nick Reddy can be reached at [email protected] or @NickIsReddy on Twitter.

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Hein hits milestone, squad begins conference play