After facing off against teams from across America, from Alaska to Oregon, in back to back Invitationals, the volleyball team travelled quite an up and down road throughout the first few conference games of the season.
“It taught us the importance of resilience and perseverance, which ultimately helped us to fight through adversity and end our season on such a positive note,” Mallori Gibson-Rossi, Head Coach of the volleyball team, said.
However, there have also been many different points in the season that could be considered highlights for the collegiate team. Perhaps one that stands out the most would be their finish line at the end of conference play, during which they were able to earn three big wins in a row against University of California, San Diego, Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Dominguez Hills. According to Massengale, the match in particular to remember would be the match at U.C. San Diego, as it took place senior night for the Warriors.
"As a team, it was our best game overall together. Everyone truly contributed that night," said Massengale.
The preceding matches built up the momentum to playing in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournament for the California State University, Stanislaus (Stan State) Volleyball team, where they were set to face off against U.C. San Diego once again. As a team, they felt since they had beat them once two weeks prior, they could do it again.
“We were very excited to play and very confident that we could beat them once again,” Jocelyn Cervantes (senior, Child Development) said.
They ended up beating U.C. San Diego in a whopping 4 matches, pushing their winning streak to 4 games and accomplishing their first win in the tournament in the program's history. They went on to face the Chico State Wildcats in the second round. After losing to them earlier in the season, as a team they were ready to face the tough competition in Chico State again.
“One of our goals was the hopes to play them again later in the season. We were really excited when we were given the chance to face them in the second round,” Blair Ehrlich (senior, Psychology) said.
Each match in the game went back and forth, as the Warriors ended up losing three matches straight, but they didn’t go down without a fight in the last game of their season, as each match was lost by only few points.
“That game could have easily gone five matches with how close it was. We all fought very hard,” Massengale said.
Ehrlich played out a season worthy of the books as an end to her career on the volleyball team.
Not only did she achieve being named on the All CCAA First Team for the second year straight, but also ended up getting 421 kills total by the end of the season, becoming a new CCAA best by any player.
On Nov. 30 Ehrlich was named to an AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention, a first time feat for any Stan State Volleyball player in the history of the program. She was very excited to hear the news.
“I was very happy to receive the award,” Ehrlich said. “It really made all of my hard work in the last four years all worth it.”
Hearing that Ehrlich won this award did not come as a surprise to Coach Gibson-Rossi. She saw Ehrlich as someone who was highly motivated and actively working on making her game better any chance she got.
“Ehrlich becoming a strong force for Warrior Volleyball didn’t happen overnight. When you combine that type of motivation with her talent and willingness to make changes to her game, it's the perfect equation for success,” Coach Gibson-Rossi said.
Now that the season has come to an end, the Warriors Volleyball team walks away from 2016 with a pat on their back. The women were able to hold their own in the CCAA tournament after withstanding the ups and downs of what the season had to offer.
“It was overall a roller coaster of a season,” Cervantes said. “To see how far we had come made me feel like it was a really good way to end my college career.”