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‘Cats hoping for continued success

The Women’s volleyball team has high hopes for the upcoming season. Orion stock photo

The Chico State women’s volleyball team had a very exciting season last year. The team went 23-8, its best record since 2009, and made it to both the California Collegiate Association and NCAA Championship Tournament last year. They hope to maintain that level of success and build on it in its upcoming season.

The Wildcats also went 15-3 in league, which was good for first place in the North Division. Although they unfortunately lost in the championship game of the CCAA tournament, they greatly improved on their 9-11 record from the year before.

Although the loss of seniors Torey Thompson and Ashton Kershner will hurt, but the team will look to rely on its previous contributors to lead the way. Senior outside hitter Olivia Mediano, who has been a captain since her sophomore year, returns to continue to help lead Chico State to another great season. She led the team in kills with 379 for the season, and started all 30 of the games that she participated in.

Another key contributor who returns for the Wildcats is sophomore Kim Wright. After her 2015 season was derailed by injuries, she returned in 2016 to be one of the most important members of the Chico State volleyball team. She led the team in serves and blocks and was one of the best players on the floor in their final game of the season last year. The ‘Cats will look to her to continue to improve in the upcoming season.

Other key contributors that will be back for the 2017 season are senior outside hitter Anna Baytosh, sophomore outside hitter Camryn Rocha, and senior defensive specialist Shannon Cotton.

Although 10 Wildcats return, Chico State volleyball will also look to its freshman recruits to provide a spark as well. The team picked up four former high school standouts who will look to contribute right away. This includes Claire Wilson, an outside hitter who helped lead her high school team to a league championship in her senior year, and Makaela Keeve, a four-year varsity starter who was a three-time all-league selection.

With a group of solid returners and exciting newcomers, the Chico State volleyball team has their sights set on a CCAA tournament championship. Their first game of the new season will be on August 31 against William Jessup University.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.

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