Conclusion of era for SPU Volleyball

Celebrating the career achievements of the seniors on the Falcons Volleyball team

Brandon Bee, Staff Reporter

two volleyball players give each other a high five
Katie Mansfield and Gabby Oddo celebrating after a point. (Aly Cotte)

In three weeks, Seattle Pacific University will celebrate the class of 2020 in a virtual graduation format. Among those graduating will be five SPU volleyball players.

SPU volleyball players Taylor Alicuben, Gabby Oddo, Mallie Donohoe, Jaeden Hooker and Katie Mansfield saw their season come to an end in November.

Each of these players have had many accomplishments during their times at SPU and they have all shown improvement over the years when it comes to their skills on the court and their ability to lead a team.

In her senior season, 5-foot-1-inch libero Katie Mansfield finished her SPU career on a high-note, having played 50 sets, which is more than her previous seasons, and having a career high 82 digs on the season.

Mansfield has grown a lot since she came to SPU. As a freshman, she was not as vocal as she is today.

“The improvement was just in my leadership and the way I spoke to people and led the younger girls in teaching them how our team culture was,” she said in a phone call. “In my voice and my presence on the court grew a lot over the years.”

Jaeden Hooker jumps for a spike during a match against Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday, Sep. 21. Jackie Chen | The Falcon

This senior class was awarded a plethora of honors in the GNAC, starting at 5-foot-9-inch outside hitter Gabby Oddo. She has been a superstar for the Volleyball team throughout her entire career at SPU, and this past year she made the 2019 First All-GNAC Volleyball team, which marks the third time in her career she has made the team.

Starting her career, Oddo suffered a torn ACL during her freshman season in 2016. Ending her career at SPU this year, Oddo has also been able to hit a very important milestone. Most recently, Oddo topped the 1,000 mark in career kills, digs and points.

Not only do these women have tremendous skills on the court, but in the classroom as well. Seven players on the SPU Volleyball team were selected to the GNAC All-Academic list and four of them were seniors.

5-foot-9-inch senior setter Taylor Alicuben transferred from Highline College in Bellevue, Washington, coming into her junior season. Unfortunately, she was not able to play because she was sidelined with an injury. Going into her senior season, Alicuben played 16 of 28 matches for a total of 40 games. A highlight of her season was when the team played the University of Hawaii Hilo where she recorded a double-double of 32 assists and 10 digs.

5-foot-9-inch outside hitter Jaeden Hooker played 27 out of 28 matches this season, starting eight of them. Hooker’s senior season had her finishing with 114 total kills. Over the course of her career, she has had 301 kills in total.

5-foot-9-inch outside hitter and defensive specialist Mallie Donahoe had a season best 410 digs, along with a season best 72 assists. In the totality of her career, she has had 953 digs.

Going forward, losing five seniors can be devastating for a team. They will lose leadership from the veteran players and going into next season, they will bring in some fresh faces to get acclimated to the system and sets. Still, rebuilding can also become a bright spot for a team that is still going to continue to grow even further and next season, they will hope to bounce back.