Tougher than you pink: Women’s volleyball team puts up a fight


Bree Rodriguez goes in for a kill, Lexi Carpenter and Brooke Ono ready at her side. Photo by Julia Travers.

The Chico State Women’s Volleyball team played against the Stanislaus State Warriors on Oct. 5, dawning pink bows in their hair for their ‘Dig Pink’ game. 

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the team brought out many excited crowd members attired in bright pink outfits and makeup, along with a hopeful spark to win. 

The court was hot with an intense back and forth game, however the deciding four sets handed Chico State a loss with the final scores of 25-23, 12-25, 23-25 and 19-25.  

However, the players did not back down the entire game, as they possessed additional motivation going into the matchup. The Wildcats were determined to get back to their winning ways after a rough weekend on the road. 

Junior Zoe DiNardo and senior Grace Sheppard did not disappoint fans with a total of 13 and 12 kills for the team, along with sophomore Bree Rodriguez totaling nine kills and two blocks. 

The Wildcats caught the Warriors off guard in the first set, racking up points with a 9-4 lead, yet the Warriors regained their confidence in the second set sweeping Chico by a whopping 13 points. 

“That was a great battle for us, we had come off a kind of hard weekend and we totally bounced back,” Sheppard said. “We won that first set, which was really big for us.” 

The two teams would not let each other catch a break. Both sides were fiery with their hard spikes and harsh blocks. The fast paced game had the crowd on the edge of their seats, echoing the gym with their cheers. It was hard to take your eyes off the court. 

Lauryn Osendorf was all over the court for the Wildcats, committed to helping her team in any way, she racked up six kills and five digs. Lexi Carpenter, Brooke Ono and Jessie Camarillo collectively brought the team a total 31 digs.

“I do not feel bad about that loss because in that fourth set there was game point for them at least three or four balls,” Osendorf said. “That was when I really felt everyone fighting and that drive is what I think makes all of us want to be there and keep going.” 

Zoe DiNardo, Lauryn Osendorf and Brooklynn Anderson dynamic trio blocking competitors strikes. Photo by Julia Travers.

According to DiNardo, the team felt better than ever after playing the Warriors. Coming home after two hard defeats against Cal Poly Humboldt and Sonoma State, they switched their game plan on the court by changing their lineup and offense, as well as overcoming mental challenges as a team. 

The Wildcats felt off this past week, not playing their usual game, but this hard-fought game has them feeling closer than ever as a team and like they’re back on the right track. 

“I think that game I saw us again, we haven’t been playing like us in a while,” DiNardo said. “I saw the team camaraderie and our passion again, which was nice to see, so I don’t have any harsh feelings.” 

The Wildcats have not only played the Warriors once this week, but will twice with their next match on Oct. 8 in Turlock. There they will be ready to avenge the sting of a home loss in front of their fans. 

This puts Chico at 3-13 in the season and 1-8 for the CCAA. The team has two upcoming home games taking place on Oct. 14 against San Bernardino at 5 p.m. and Oct. 15 against Cal Poly Pomona at 2 p.m. both of which will take place at the Acker Gym.  

Julia Travers can be reached at [email protected]