Womens volleyball starts the 2018 season strong

Photograph by Mo Fries

By Amelia Eichel

With a brand new coaching staff, nine incoming freshmen and a 7-0 preseason winning streak, Lewis & Clark women’s volleyball came out against the odds this season.

Emily Hayes joined the Pios as an assistant coach in 2017 and was named head coach at the start of the 2018 season. Hannah Stinson and LC alum Bailee Cragun ’18 are the new assistant coaches. This means that the six seniors on the team are the most veteran of anyone in the program.

“The seniors have really shown a lot of dedication and have shaped the culture,” Stinson said. “Having them present constantly shaping the culture and thinking about leaving their legacy is really special for those nine first-years coming in. They look up to them so much and I think that’s going to drive us forward in the future.”

Pio Volleyball’s newest recruits packed a punch at the beginning of the season. The class of 2022 accounts for nine of the 19 members of the team. This is a significant increase from last season, when the total team size was 10 players.

Ka’anelaokapu’uwai Pakaki-Pias ’22 has hit the board with impressive stats and Kendall Malone ’22 has established herself as a dominant outside hitter.

“My concern coming in as a freshman was thinking that since there were only six seniors, we are a very young team and we (first-years)w were going to have to compete for our spot,” Kelsey Parker ’22 said. “But we came in for preseason and we started winning everything which was really awesome. It just made our intensity on the court and our ambition to win even stronger.”

The team won more games in the 2018 preseason than the team has won the past two seasons combined. Their winning streak ended with a loss to the Whitman Blues on Sept. 15.

“We could tell during preseason just how hard people were working and pushing each other … We started off really strong,” Hayes said. “Now we have to continue to have that mindset that we can beat anybody and be disciplined throughout the whole match.”

Kortney Meyer ’18 is making a huge impact on the court as she is a six-rotatiown middle, which means she plays all six positions on the court.

“Anyone that knows volleyball knows that is not common at all,” Stinson said. “Usually your middle hitter would be someone who doesn’t pass that much, but Kortney plays all six positions and is a consistent threat.”

Overall, the team is 8-4, 1-4 in conference. They won against Linfield and lost to Whitman, Whitworth, Puget Sound, and Willamette. The Pios will face the Whitman Blues at home on Oct. 12 and the Whitworth Pirates on Oct. 13.

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