The volleyball team kicked off its preseason last weekend, competing in the Concordia Volleyball Classic, which was a three-day road series in Portland, Oregon.
On Friday, the Broncos opened their first game of the classic with a bang.
They took a commanding three-set sweep (25-21, 25-13, 25-23) over Western Oregon, causing the Wolves to fall to 0-2.
However, the Broncos fell short in their second game.
But they managed to turn things around in their final game to finish with a winning record.
In the Broncos’ first game, junior middle blocker Ally Wilder, junior outside hitter Aofiaolela Faa’agi and freshman outside hitter Jazminn Parrish combined for 31 kills and were heavily assisted by All-American setter Kira Zimmerman with 35 assists.
The Broncos averaged a .322 hitting percentage with a total of 42 kills and 14 errors in 87 attacks.
On the defensive end, sophomore outside hitter Sarah Clausen led with 12 digs and senior opposite-side hitter Karah Griffiths led with four blocks.
“I think our chemistry really came through in that game, which was nice to see,” Coach Dahl said. “It was a fun match and it was nice for the girls to pull off a three-set win.”
The Broncos’ tables turned in their second game as they were swept (25-22, 25-15, 25-21) by Metropolitan State University on Saturday.
The Broncos fought hard, both offensively and defensively, leading in kills (35) and digs (27).
However, the Roadrunners led in assists (31), rotation points (47) and the largest factor being nine aces compared to the Broncos’ three.
The new additions to the team, Parrish and Faa’agi, are meeting their high expectations, responding with a total of 23 kills.
The Broncos showed resilience in their final game on the road, playing just five hours after their second game.
They faced off against Concordia University, which went to the wire on the fifth set.
While both teams gave tremendous effort, Parrish brought it all and put the nail in the coffin with the last play being a kill to end the game.
“I saw the opportunity and took it,” Parrish said. “I hit the ball to win, so I tried my best to find an open spot on the court and expose them.”
The Broncos played exceptionally well defensively, totaling 12 blocks and 80 digs.
Parrish was given a big role and proved her skill, totaling 49 kills while hitting at an average of .445% across three games.
Zimmerman was also a great factor on the court, setting out a total of 102 assists and hustling all over the court, collecting stats in every category.
“Every single person on our team is really important to our success. And it’s really true because we can’t get anywhere without everyone on our team, improving us every day,” Zimmerman said.
Coach Dahl and the Broncos began the preseason strong going 2-1, which is especially difficult due to the transition of 10 new teammates: Daisy Duke, Dionne Zhao, Taylor Bachmann, Mikayla Diamond, Brynn Sherbert, Jane Woodward, Kylie Brandt, Kaitlan Tucker, Faa’agi and Parrish.
“All of our incoming players have done a really good job of just acclimating and putting themselves into our system,” coach Dahl said.
“Our line is really young and it’s exciting.”
Despite having many newcomers, the Broncos contributed across the board to wrap up the Concordia Volleyball Classic on a high note.
The Broncos now head back home to play four games across three days, beginning with Seattle Pacific at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 12.
The Broncos will then face off against last year’s national runner-up and No. 2-ranked Western Washington at 8 p.m. the same day.
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