Bouncing back from a gritty five-set defeat the previous night, the Chico State women’s volleyball team shook off a slow start to top the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters in four sets on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Set 1: Before many fans had taken their seats, the Wildcats found themselves behind 0-6, forcing head coach Cody Hein to burn a timeout to stem the bleeding. The ‘Cats grinded their way back taking the lead at 22-21, but ultimately fell 24-26.
Set 2: The second frame was quite competitive, with no side able to pull ahead by more than a few points. Another two-point decision favored the ‘Cats this time by a 25-23 tally as they won the second set.
Set 3: A fan who had seen the beginning of the first set, left for a burger at The Bear and then returned for the start of the third might have believed time had stopped as the ‘Cats spotted the Otters five points before getting on the board themselves. The hosts caught the Otters at 11 before taking control to seize the set 25-19.
Set 4: Determined not to have any more fifth set theatrics this weekend, the ‘Cats climbed out to a 15-7 edge to instigate an Otter timeout. The squads would go on to mostly swap points, with the ‘Cats getting 10 more and the Otters earning seven, sending the Acker faithful home happy by a decisive 25-17 score.
First-year outside hitter Shelby Frank recorded her best outing yet, pounding home a career-high 15 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Olivia Mediano and junior middle hitter Ashton Kershner piled on 13 kills each. Mediano also racked up 17 digs, second only to sophomore libero Shannon Cotton’s 22. Junior setter Torey Thompson guided the offensive with 50 assists for the night.
“It just reaffirms what we already know. We’re a good team that can compete. Monterey Bay’s record doesn’t show it but they are a competitive team,” said Sable Villaescusa, first-year assistant coach. “This is a huge win for us whether people think so or not. This proves we should be at the top of the [California Collegiate Athletic Association] and we can do this to any team on any night as long as we’re playing our game.”
The ‘Cats improved to 15-6 overall and 7-4 in league play.
Nick Reddy can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @NickIsReddy.