Chico State Women’s Volleyball seeks first win at home


Matthew Bates/Chico State Sports Information

Chico State starting middle hitter Makaela Keeve

The Chico State Women’s Volleyball team began this season by achieving early success in the Norcal Kickoff tournament, winning three out of four games. However, they have found themselves experiencing some turbulence as they begin conference play.

They started off 1-5 in conference matchups and have an overall record of 5-9. Their only win came against Humboldt State in which they won 3-0 on Sept. 25. 

In early October, the Women’s Volleyball team traveled to Southern California and then to Northern California to face off against Cal State San Marcos and Cal State East Bay. 

The team would go on to suffer back-to-back losses on the road. 

In their matchup against San Marcos on Oct. 1, it was a close game. The score was 16-20 after the second timeout was called 23 minutes into the game. 

Senior Lizzie Wilson would go on to score the final point for the Wildcats to make the score 17-21. After this, the lead increased with the Wildcats giving up four consecutive points to give the Cougars the win in the first set. 

The final score was 17-25, putting the Wildcats at 0-1 in the game.

The Wildcats controlled the momentum throughout the second set and they secured the win thanks to starting middle hitter Makaela Keeve. Keeve struck down a kill which would put the score at 1-1 and a final score of 25-21 after the second set. 

From here, they would go on to lose the final two sets with the scores being 20-25 and 22-25. Keeve put up 14 kills in the loss. 

The next day in Hayward, a tough match-up occurred. The final score for the night would be 1-3 (18-25, 25-15, 18-25, 23-25). Sophomore transfer and starting outside hitter Zoe DiNardo reflected on the loss.

“We hadn’t seen an offense that’s been run that fast and that effective, it [definitely] put us on our heels,” DiNardo said.

The Pioneers’ quick tempo on offense proved to throw off the Wildcats’ blocking, leaving them with slower reactions when it came to reading the setter. Passes were a struggle and threw off their serve and receive. This ultimately slowed down Chico’s offense overall and was a factor in their loss to the Pioneers. 

With a total of 14 games under their belt, 12 of those have been on the road. 

This weekend, they’ll play at home in Acker Gym. Walking in with a 0-2 record in home games, the Wildcats are hungry to win their first home matchup. 

They’ll not only have the benefit of not having to travel, but they’ll also be in control of home-court advantage. 

“It’s going to be great to be at Acker [Gym],” Keeve said. “We love the home feeling and that comfortability, and we really feed off the energy from our fans and their support.” 

The adversity and obstacles this team has encountered this season aren’t enough to deflate the morale within the team.

“We still really want to make it to playoffs,” said defensive specialist Kennedy Greenwood. “We understand that we’ve put ourselves in a pretty tough position for that but we also understand that it’s still a possibility. Every day we come into practice and focus on the nitty-gritty things while keeping a positive attitude.” 

To turn the tide this season, the Wildcats have to keep it error-free while being able to stay consistent with their play on offense and defense. Also minimizing the number of forced errors in-game.

To secure wins this weekend, Keeve spoke about using a spread-out offense that would give their opponents a tougher time to approach.

The Chico State Women’s Volleyball Team plays this Friday and Saturday in Acker Gym. The first match-up will be at 5 p.m. against Cal State L.A. The following day they face off against Cal State Dominguez Hills at 5 p.m. 

Raymundo Sayago Aguilar can be reached at [email protected] or @rsayagoaguilar on Twitter.