The volleyball team began their conference season with two great performances this past weekend. The Pirates walked away from a match against Pacific Lutheran University with a 3-0 victory. However, the real challenge of their western state matches came on Saturday night when they faced the Puget Sound University Loggers.
The first set against the Loggers did not have a good start. About halfway through the set, Loggers held the lead at 20-13. However, the Pirates gained a lot of ground with the help of seniors Nicole Leonard and Shawna Korshavn. By the end of the game, Leonard and Korshavn made 12 and 10 kills, respectively.
The Pirates were able to tie up the game, 24-24. The Pirates ended up losing the first set, but were able to make a comeback and take the second set with a score of 25-20.
“One of the biggest things was our mentality,” junior Brenna Bruil said. “We worked really hard and believed that we were going to win in our hearts.”
The Pirates heavily dominated the beginning of the third set. Sophomore Cassandra Mendoza led the Pirates to a 18-7 lead halfway through the set. Mendoza was able to make a staggering 16 kills in the game on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Loggers began to gain ground and worked their way up to a deficit of only five points.
“I don’t think we ever lost our confidence,” head coach Kati Bodecker said. “If anything our frustration became more evident. But they found a way to persevere and they’re very resilient and when push comes to shove they find a way to score points.”
The Loggers won the fourth set, placing the score at 2-2. The Pirates were prepared to win and brought their best game to the fifth set.
“We really had a fire to win,” Mendoza said. “We knew we were the better team. We like the challenge and so we just went into it with a positive mindset.”
The Pirates were able to win the set with a score of 15-10, as well as win the game with a set score of 3-2.
Volleyball will be facing off with Whitman on Wednesday in Walla Walla at 6 p.m.