Volleyball battles for a win against Pacific University

Aspen Brooks, For the Review

The Wildcats played hard for a victory against Pacific University in their conference opener on Wednesday Sept. 16, winning 25-20, 21-25, 25-8, 23-25, 15-13.

Freshmen outside hitters Audrey Hyem and Darian Stedman led the Wildcats’ offense with 13 kills each. Senior Caiti Barrie and freshman Eryka Keoho also made significant contributions, with 11 and 10 kills respectively.

The first set of the match went to Linfield 25-20, with the Wildcats pulling ahead early on and maintaining a lead throughout the rest of the game.

Set two went to the Boxers 25-21, with starting sophomore setter Jamie Talbo coming out injured halfway through.

The Wildcats then rallied, winning a crushing victory 25-8 in the third game. A combination of consistent defense and powerful offense were keys to success.

In set four, the teams were neck-and-neck, but momentum from a few long rallies propelled the Boxers to the win 25-23.

In the fifth and deciding set, the Wildcats got off to a rocky start and were down 1-5. The momentum shifted when freshman Tiara Huffaker and Keoho shut down the Boxers with a well-timed block. The Wildcats were first to 8 points, with the Boxers trailing at 6, and won the game 15-13, securing victory.

Coach Shane Kimura praised his team, saying, “We battled hard when we were down points.” He added that the team’s next step is to see if Talbo will be back for their next match and adjust rotations accordingly.

Senior and defensive specialist, Quinn Takashima, said the match had a good start, and the Wildcats have “a young team this year, and they really stepped up.”

The team will keep “working hard in the gym to get ready for other conference games,” she said.

Next, the Wildcats will take on Willamette University. The match starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18 at the Cone Field House.