Chico State Volleyball snags their first win in Hawaii


Chico State volleyball in defensive position as they wait for California State University, East Bay to serve. Sept. 22, 2018. Photo credit: Lucero Del Rayo-Nava

Chico State volleyball couldn’t have asked for a better location to open their 2019 campaign as they clinched on to a five set victory against Hawaii’s Minot State. It was the first of a 3-day tournament on the island and the first time for head coach Cody Hein to return to the sport he loves since taking medical leave last season for open heart surgery.

The Wildcats jumped to an early lead in the first set by a score of 5-1. Minot State would respond with a huge run of their own, but the Wildcats would hold to take the first set. After settling in, Chico State would command the second set by taking the set 25-21.

The Wildcats had their sights on getting out of the match early, but Minot State refused to fold in their opener. The teams exchanged leads from early points of the set all the way past the 25-point mark, but Minot State took the set.

Back on their toes, Chico State’s path to victory was all but smooth. The scrappy Minot State squad sprinted to a dominating 10-2 lead over the Wildcats. Chico State would find the answer to their offensive struggles too late as the momentum was all in favor of Minot State to force a winner takes all fifth set by a score of 25-19.

The final set of the match mirrored much of what took place in the third set as the squads traded runs back and forth. It would come to desire and grit to decide the set. Gretta Kirby’s number would be called upon to bring the Wildcats home as she delivered the final two kills to close Minot State 15-11.

Junior Makaela Keeve came up huge for the Wildcats in her best game since joining the program with a career high of 18 kills and an impressive 3 blocks to go along with it. Gretta Kirby delivered a career best of 11 kills to help her team. Senior leader Brooke Fogel lead her team with 24 digs on the night.

Chico State will continue their play in the Hawaii Challenge with two matches Friday evening. First matching up with Hawaii-Hilo then Hawaii Pacific.

Wesley Harris can be reached at [email protected] and @jiggy_wes on twitter.