Volleyball ready to continue growth next fall

Paris Prado

The Hornets women’s volleyball season has come to an end, placing fifth in the Southern Division of the Big Sky Conference. The women had a conference record of 3-13. The top four teams from both divisions will now be competing in the Big Sky Tournament.

The Hornets were overall 8-23 this year, hitting .188 in conference. As a historically good team at home, the women struggled on their home court, going 1-11 this year. They played their best on neutral territories going 4-3, and were 3-9 away. The squad had a total of 16 matches in conference and a total of 767 kills in conference.

Now that the season has ended, junior captain Sloan Lovett said the women had Thanksgiving break off and went right back into working out this week. Lovett said the coaches have made themselves available if the players need any individual help.

Overall, the junior felt her team improved throughout the whole year. She thinks that the growth of this season will be important for next year.

“I think we had a good season,I think we had a lot of improvement, and I think now we have the experience and we’re going to be a lot better next year,” Lovett said.

The women averaged 11.98 kills per set in conference, 11.17 assists per set and 14.66 digs per set. The Hornets had a total of 82 service aces in conference and 164 overall.

“I think I did well, but I can always improve in every area,” Lovett said.

Lovett hit .174, and appeared in 29 matches. Lovett had the most kills this year at 347 and 1,034 total attacks.

Sophomore middle blocker Madeline Cannon led the team this year hitting .261. Cannon played in all 31 matches of the year, with 586 attacks and 242 kills. Freshman setter Kennedy Kurtz was not far behind Cannon, hitting .247.

She appeared in all 31 matches this season, with a total of 146 attacks and 51 kills.

Although the team had a record-breaking eight freshman this year, Lovett said they focused on not using their inexperience as an excuse. She stated that the age of the team played a part in this season, but was not a determining factor to their performance.

“I think it’s always a factor because a huge part of playing division one in any sport is the experience, because its such a quicker game than it is in high school,” Lovett said.

Sophomore middle blocker Kendall LaVine said this season left her feeling hopeful for what next year brings. She said now that they have all learned how to play together, and what to expect, they will be prepared for the competition next fall.

LaVine hit .148 this season, appearing in 29 matches. She had a total of 162 attacks and 59 kills.

“I think it just left me feeling really hopeful and excited to get in and get some good work in the spring and come back next fall ready to go,” LaVine said.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Kissell also felt this year was a learning year for the women and filled with lots of improvement. Kissell, a transfer from San Joaquin Delta College, appeared in nine matches this year after working out some transferring issues. Kissell hit .151, with 331 attacks and 94 kills.

“I feel like we started off shaky but improved and played much better,” Kissell said.

LaVine will also be participating in the individual practices the coaches offer. Although she said this year she felt herself improve, she still has a lot to work on.

“I really want to work on at- tacking on both the right side and in the middle,” LaVine said.

This year’s regular season champion and host of the Big Sky Tournament is Idaho State, with a conference record of 15- 1. The eight teams that will be competing in the tournament this year are Idaho State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Southern Utah, North Dakota, Northern Colorado, University of Idaho and Montana State.