Changing of the tides for Lumberjacks Women’s Volleyball

JMC2By Steven Bentley
Flapjack Chronicle

The Humboldt State University Lumberjacks endured a full slate of sporting events in October. One main event took place in Lumberjack Arena, where the women’s volleyball team hosted conference for Cal State Stanislaus.  This year’s squad came in to the game with an 8-8 record and an even winning percentage through the first 16 matches of the season.  They looked to exceed their sub par record in this game, with full focus on the task at hand; they beat the Warriors from Turlock in a California Collegiate Athletic Association conference showdown.

In one of the quickest matches of the season, HSU struggled in the first game, missing passes and open shots, while allowing the Cal State Stanislaus women to gain momentum and capitalize on their opportunity.  Humboldt lost the first game by a score of 25-13 and went into game number two down one to zero.  In game two, the HSU defense stepped up its pressure and tied the match up with a 25-19 handling of the opposition.  After intermission, the Jacks hung on to victory in games three and four, winning by two points and four points, respectively.  It was a great test for the Jacks against a conference opponent who did not go away quietly.

With the win, the Jacks are now a game over .500% standing at 9-8 overall, with a subpar 4-6 record in conference CCAA play.  This game revealed some players with huge athletic talent, most notably former Santa Rosa Junior College standout Kaitlyn Dunaway.  She tied for the HSU kill honors with 16 and also added 14 digs, an ace and an assist to her stat line.

Kaitlyn Dunaway, the starting sophomore right side hitter had much to say involving the success and weaknesses of the team.

“Thus far out the season is going pretty well,” Dunaway said. “We definitely have a lot of room for improvement though.  Our biggest downfall is our lack of consistency.  We have the capability of playing great and we have shown that, but we need to play at that high level on a consistent basis.”

Dunaway also talked about the feelings of the team after the win against the CSU-Stanislaus, and the steps necessary for her team to build off the performance.

“After the match today there were mixed feelings pertaining to different parts of the game,” stated Dunaway. “We improved a great deal in working as a team and this really helped attain the win this evening. Although we struggled at times, we are happy with our success. We are not ignorant to the fact that we need to play better but we will take it one day at a time and work to keep improving together as a unit.”

Student athlete and fan, Ricky Sims, boasted about Dunaway’s abilities she has brought to this team.

“I’ve known Kaitlyn for some time now dating back to our High school days at Petaluma High, where we both attended,” Sims said. “This sport has always come naturally to her and it was pretty evident even back in high school that this was something she would excel at.  She really has worked hard and now is making an impact on this volleyball team and season. I am glad to have her up here.”

After the match, second year coach head coach Kelly Wood talked to her team about the victory and thoughts regarding her team’s performance.

“Though we struggled mightily in that first set, we stuck together and worked off momentum and improved throughout the course of the game,” Wood stated.

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