’Cats make comeback for season

The Linfield women’s volleyball team dove into the 2010 season with tough competition and nationally
ranked opponents, such as Nebraska-Wesleyan University, Colorado College and Eastern University, on the
schedule.
But coach Shane Kimura said he believes that playing such opponents is an important step in the
preparation for conference play.
“I think we played some good competition. So, we know what we need to work on,” he said. “I think
it kind of shows us what our weaknesses are and what we need to work on for our conference season.”
The Wildcats opened this year against the Beacons of Northwest Christian University on Sept. 1. After
the ’Cats won the first set 25-22, the Beacons took command and won the next three 25-21, 25-14 and 25-
15.
Freshman Kelsey Ludin and junior Tara Hill led the Wildcats with seven kills a piece, and junior
Samantha Lau contributed with 17 digs.
The remainder of the Wildcats preseason schedule comprised two tournaments, one in Colorado
Springs, Colo.,
nationally ranked teams. Their combined record in these two tournaments ended up being 2-5, putting there
overall record at 2-6. However, while the record may not show it, all-conference player Lau said she believes
that these are the types of games that the team must play in preparation for their North West Conference
Schedule.
“They definitely showed us where are weaknesses were. If we keep playing
easy teams we’ll never figure that out. They definitely run quicker offenses, they hit balls a lot harder,” she
said. “When we played Nebraska it was a very close game. So we know we can hang in there, so now we
just have to get to the point where we can beat them at that level.”
This attitude was echoed by coach Kimura, but he said he understands that losing close games is not
enough.
“The negative part is obviously you don’t like to lose matches,” he said.
The Wildcats opened up conference play with a win Sept. 15 at home against the Boxers of Pacific
University. After losing the first game 18-24, Linfield came back and played a solid second game, winning
25-17. The third game was up in the air with both teams looking in control at various times. In the end, the
Boxers pulled out with a 25-21 victory. With their backs against the wall however, Linfield responded and
and one in Forest Grove, Ore. Within these tournaments, the Wildcats played three
dominated the next two games, winning by scores of 25-14 and 15-12. With this victory, the Wildcats start
off on the right foot in conference.
With one conference game in the books, Linfield will look for more momentum as the Northwest
Conference season gets under way. Six of their first seven matches will be played at home and
Kimura said he understands how important it is to get take advantage of this and get a quick start.
“We’re going to have tough matches every night, so I think it is important we have a good start,” he said.
With a favorable schedule, the Wildcats hope to make some noise this year in the Northwest Conference.
The next two home games for the Wildcats will be Sept. 24 and 25 against Puget Sound University and
Lewis & Clark College, respectively.

Jerry Young/Staff reporter
Jerry Young can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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