Clan conquers Western Oregon Wolves
By Steve Frost
The Simon Fraser University Clan women’s volleyball team defeated Western Oregon University Wolves Oct. 8 in the West Gym at the Burnaby campus, taking the match in three straight sets (25-20, 26-24, 25-17).
This win moved the Clan to 4-3 overall in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
What began as a point-for-point game between the Clan and the Wolves in the first set ended victoriously for SFU.
With opening kills by outside hitters Jessica Young, Emma Jennings and Madison Power, the Clan set the tone for the rest of the set. Oregon was only able to hold an initial tie at 4-4 before Simon Fraser took off with the lead. With six total kills by Young followed by four from Power, the Clan cinched the set 25-20.
The Clan got off to a rocky start in set two, enabling the Wolves to stay with the Clan until the very end. With kills by Oregon attackers Amanda Short and Kelsey Paige, WOU gained an initial 6-4 lead against SFU.
The Clan wouldn’t let the early lead determine the set, and fought back hard with two big blocks from middle blocker Tessa May and six kills by Power to take the lead 15-11. More successful attacking on the Oregon side by Paige, Short and Alisha Bettinson brought the Wolves back to within 21-20, but SFU dug deep and came back to take the set 26-24.
SFU used its set two momentum to dominate the third set. Never letting the Wolves take a lead, the Clan took care of business thanks to seven digs by libero Alison McKay and four kills by both Young and Power. Although Western Oregon fought hard with three kills each by attackers Paige, Bettinson, Vandenkooy and Blankinship, blocks by both Jennings and Power along with four more digs each by Danielle Curtis and Young stopped the Wolves’ offense. The Clan sealed the third set and the match 25-17.
Power led the Clan with 14 kills followed by Young with 12. Young also contributed defensively with 17 digs followed by Mckay and Curtis with 16 and 15, respectively. Curtis also put 36 assists to Clan hitters.
“We did a good job of staying steady,” says coach Gina Schmidt. “When Western Oregon applied pressure we were able to respond when it counted.”
The Clan takes on Concordia University on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the West Gym.