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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Volleyball’s success continues to rise

The women’s volleyball team lines up before their game. Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Among the Chico State athletic team’s, none have found more success this season than the women’s volleyball team, who currently lead its conference with an 8-2 record.

Along with leading its conference, the team managed a six-game win streak for the first time since 2011. The successful play of the Wildcats veteran players and first-year athletes has spurred the team’s early success.

Junior outsider-hitter Olivia Mediano leads the team in kills this season with 234 and has been awarded the CCAA Player of the Week award twice this season.

Mediano said that she thinks the acknowledgment is less about her as an individual and more of a statement about how well the team has progressed.

“Everyone on the team has set a goal to get 2 percent better each day, and I think that is something that is helped with our winning streak,” Mediano said.

Senior setter Torey Thompson has also been an important leader on the team, as she leads the conference in assists this season with 719. Thompson has also achieved her 4,000 career assist earlier this season, becoming only the third person in the team’s history to reach that milestone.

“It’s a pretty cool club to be a part of, our assistant coach has also achieved 4,000 assists and it’s nice knowing I have had the chance to do this with all my team,” Thompson said.

She mentioned that the team felt inspired after shattering the 21-year losing streak to San Bernardino earlier this season.

“We have played more cohesively than we did in the past. After defeating Cal State San Bernardino, the team had more reassurance that we are capable of beating anyone in this conference,” Thompson said.

Fourteen-year veteran, Head Coach Cody Hein, also said that defeating Cal State San Bernardino validated the team’s ability to win in critical moments this season.

“They have been the golden standard, to be able to beat Cal State San Bernardino gives you a sense of accomplishment and hope that the team is capable of that echelon of gameplay,” Hein said.

The mentality of the team is goal-oriented, which has led to the team overcoming obstacles in its season, according to Hein.

“The girls are really focused on what we call W.I.N., What’s Important Now,” Hein said. “Analyzing the footwork and technique of how we pass, coming up with strategies, and not just if we are going to win or not.”

With a dominant two-game lead in its conference, the team is only eight games away from competing in its post-season tournament, the CCAA Championship.

Gabriel Moreno can be reached at [email protected] or @Gabesports3 on Twitter.

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