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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

First home game is a clean sweep for Wildcat volleyball

Bekah Boyle spikes the ball past Monterrey Bay’s blockers. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

In the home opener of the regular season, Chico State volleyball definitely showed California State University, Monterey Bay who’s house they were at. With a win on Friday in three sets, the Wildcats fought hard throughout each set and battled for each win. The wins were not easy wins as the scores were 26-24, 25-21, and 25-22.

For freshman setter, Brooke Ono, it was her first ever home opener as a Wildcat, and it sure was a memorable one.

“My teammates really helped me to get over the pregame jitters throughout the match,” Ono said.

Serving the Ball
Kim Wright serves the ball in home opener against California State University, Monterey Bay. Friday, Sept. 20 Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Ono jumped right on board this season and has owned her position in the lineup of starting setter as just a freshman. She gets her feet around the ball, no matter where the first contact puts her on the court, and sets up the offensive swings for her hitters.

As a setter, Ono dictates what plays to run, sets to set, and offense to execute. With the game plan largely in part in her hands, lots of responsibility is placed on her out on the court.

Spike Alert
Grace Shepherd spikes the ball past Monterrey Bay's players. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“Going in with a cool head and confidence is mainly what helps me,” Ono said. “Knowing that if I mess up, I got the next one and I’m going to keep trying until I do.”

Senior middle hitter, Kim Wright, looks to lead her team to victory this year and demonstrate what it means to be a Chico State Wildcat through true leadership. In her fifth year this year (she red-shirted during her freshman year) she looks to go out with a bang as the game on Friday was her last first home opener.

“It’s so bittersweet,” Wright said. “After five years you’d think you wouldn’t be nervous, so its hard to play composed on a night like this. There’s a lot of emotions.”

As a middle hitter, it is Wright’s job to get up for those “1 sets”. To be ready in the air whenever Ono needs her to set to and can become very exhausting for Wright.

“It’s hard sometimes, you have to judge it,” Wright said. “We have different calls; it gets pretty tiring. It’s definitely timing with the setter. The connection with the setter is something that takes a while, but Brooke (Ono) and I have really gotten it down.”

Setter and middle hitter networking is a crucial aspect to have in the game of volleyball. Without it, plays will fail to execute to their full potential and the game can get messy due to lack of communication. Luckily for Chico State, Ono and Wright make for a killer duo.

Stopping the Ball
Makaela Keeves jumps to block the ball from entering their side. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

After their home opener win the Wildcats leave with a 6-4 record and Chico State is eager to add another one in that left column. The Wildcats hit the road once again and look to take on California State University, East Bay on Friday, Sept. 27 in Hayward.

Karina Cope can be reached at [email protected] or @KarinaICope on Twitter.

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