Lady Owls 10-15 record knocks them out of playoffs
By Baylee Toney, Staff Writer
The Oregon Tech volleyball team was not able to clinch a spot in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) playoffs this season. Instead, their season ended in a hard-fought loss against the number one team in the league, Corban University.
The team peaked at the beginning of conference, beating nationally ranked Eastern Oregon University in the first weekend, but was not able to recover from a few losses that were crucial to securing a spot in playoffs.
A few players were also battling injuries, including a torn hamstring, a patellar tendon tear, a meniscus injury, a back injury, at least six sprained ankles, and a few other health issues.
“The CCC is a tough conference where anyone can beat anyone and we just couldn’t pull through,” said senior setter Waverly Green. “We also dealt with a lot of injuries this season, which played a pivotal role in the team not being able to perform at our best.”
To make it to the playoffs, Oregon Tech needed a winning streak at the end of the season. Northwest Christian University ended up with that spot by earning three more wins than the Lady Owls, knocking them down to the number seven spot, one shy of the number six playoff spot.
The team did not have any problems beating teams in the first two sets, but struggled in the end of games, which the team attributes to the majority of their losses
“Finishing five set matches was our ultimate enemy this year. That is just a roadblock we have to overcome,” said junior outside hitter Bailey Nelson. “…we destroy teams in the first two sets and then go to five when we should just finish them off in three quick sets.
Unfortunately for the team, they ended with a losing record of 10-15, but returners are hopeful for next season and will do what it takes to compete for a playoff spot.
“Keeping disciplined, becoming fearless, and playing on the edge is the way that Oregon Tech volleyball is coming to be played,” said Nelson. “I am looking forward to a successful senior year and am going to put in the work and training it takes to lead my team.”
The team is graduating four experienced seniors who had key roles on this year’s team, but the Lady Owls are returning fourteen players for the 2018-19 season, six of which will be seniors and playing their final season as Owls. The team is hopeful that they will be able to compete for a spot in playoffs next season with the 14 players returning.
The season may have ended in disappointment, but the program has a lot to look forward to and can expect to find success in the seasons that are to come.
“I think the underclassman can look forward to turning the program around to making playoffs again and hopefully making it to Nationals during their careers,” said Green.
The four seniors that are to be recognized for their hard work and commitment to the team are Faryn Case, Whitney Webster, Waverly Green, and Kristin Depaoli.
During their four years at Oregon Tech, the seniors made it to playoffs twice and can hang on to those memories as they move forward from Oregon Tech Volleyball.
“I’m proud I played at OIT and to be part of turning the program in the right direction. Making playoffs my first two years was a great experience,” said Green.