SPU finishes season at No. 7 in conference

Jessica Bollinger

Tears were shed and career highs were achieved. Despite the numbers on the scoreboard, Seattle Pacific University women’s volleyball team ended their season with a lot of heart and spirit.

With their last game of the season on Saturday Nov. 10, the Falcons finished No. 7 overall in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Though it was an up and down season for the Falcons, they had many high points with record setting numbers and many personal career highs.

“I am very proud of the way our team finished out the 2018 season,” head coach Abbie Wright commented. “We showed a lot of heart, grit, and competitiveness.”

The Falcons fall in final game of season, Saturday, Nov. 10.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, SPU played their second to last game of the season against No. 5 Simon Fraser. Hoping to start off their last week of the season with a win, the Falcons fell just short of victory in a tough four set match, the scores 25-16, 26-24, 20-25 and 25-17.

In the first set, Simon Fraser came out strong and took control, very quickly claiming the first set. In the second set the Falcons came out with a lot pressure on Simon Fraser causing them to go into extra points but were unable to take the set.

In the third set, SPU came back and claimed the set for themselves hoping to switch the momentum in the match. Unfortunately, Simon Fraser came back in the fourth set and took the win for this match.

In this match, Hailey Gaines lead the team in hits with 14 kills followed closely by Gabby Oddo with 12 kills. Also, in this match Symone Tran had 45 assists, adding more to her already record breaking number of assist while at SPU.

“In the GNAC, you don’t get a ton of time to recover from a loss before you have to turn around and play another challenging team,” Wright commented.

“I am very proud that after the loss on Thursday to a very talented Simon Fraser team, we came out with tenacity and pushed Western Washington to the limit.”

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Falcons ended their season by playing a tough match against Western Washington and honoring their seniors.

After a heartfelt tribute to the seniors on the team, the Falcons gave all they had against Western and pushed them to a close five-set match, the scores 17-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-20 and 15-13.

In the first set of the match, SPU played with smarts and strategy which allowed them to take the first set right out of the gate. In the second set though, Western Washington answered back by pushing their team a little harder and taking the second set.

In the third set SPU fought for every point they got, resulting in them taking the third set in a high scoring set.

The Falcons fought until the very end making very little errors and taking risk where they needed to. But after a close fourth and fifth set Western Washington ultimately took the match.

“Unfortunately, you can’t control the results, and against a well-coached and experienced WWU it is always going to be tough to get a win,” Wright said. “However, you can control effort. We controlled all of the controllables, as we like to say, that night and for that, I am very proud of our team for giving the seniors a great last memory.”

Though they ended the season on a three game losing streak, the Falcons also ended on a high note.

Junior Gabby Oddo ended the season with a career high of 32 kills, and senior Amanda Ganete ended her last season with a career high of 37 digs.

With the season at an end now, the Falcons have some time now to relax and start working towards the 2019 season.

“I hope that our program continues to build on the way we ended last Saturday. Playing like that and supporting one another in the way that we did, I am confident that good results come from that in the future,” Wright said.

“As long as we keep using our strengths and talents for the Lord, this program will continue to play at a high level because playing hard and confident is the best way to give the glory back to God.”