Volleyball team gets fresh start with new players, talent

The Linfield volleyball team started out the season with four wins and four losses, playing in two tournaments Sept. 3 and 4 in Portland and Sept. 9 and 10 in Seguin, Texas.

The tournament in Portland began with a split of two matches the first day. Mayville State defeated Linfield in the first match. Linfield won two games, both with scores of 25, making it a close match for Mayville State to win. Senior Samantha Lau kept the Wildcats in the match with 23 digs.

The second match of the day went much smoother as the Wildcats defeated Embry-Riddle with three game scores of 25. Lau had 15 digs and freshman Audrey Frazier helped the team by picking up 27 assists.

On Sept. 4, the Wildcats achieved two game scores of 25, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Edgewood Eagles. Freshman Kailana Ritte-Camara brought the heat with 11 kills, 13 digs, a pair of service aces and two block assists. Lau contributed to the two wins with 34 digs.

Linfield defeated New Hope Christian within three games, all with scores of 25. The girls pulled away from a tie in the first game and controlled the next two to win the match. The Wildcats ended the tournament with a 2-2 split.

“We’re 2-2, so I think we’ve been a little inconsistent, but the matches we lost have been close. So, that’s encouraging,” Coach Shane Kimura said. “The new freshmen players are really talented. They’re getting a lot of time on the court.”

The volleyball team split the scores again in Texas Sept. 9 and 10. Linfield was beat by Gallaudet and Texas Lutheran on the first day but came back around on Sept. 10 to defeat Concordia-Texas in five games with a team total of 96 digs and LeTourneau in three games with a team total of 53 digs.

“I think we’ve done well so far this season, but we could work on our consistency for future games,” sophomore Stephanie Neuman said. “We need to learn how the new girls play and learn how to work with them.”

Coach Kimura has high hopes for this season with the new freshmen and the strong returning players.

“The ultimate goal is to win the conference championships. We want to be a great serving team and a great passing team as well,” he said.

Neuman has high hopes for the team this season and for herself.

“I just want to live in the moment and leave it all on the court this season,” she said. “It is such a privilege to play for a college team. I don’t want to take the opportunity for granted. We have a lot of potential for the season to come.”

The Linfield Wildcats will play again on Sept. 14 at Willamette and again on Sept. 17 at Puget Sound. The first home game will be on Sept. 23.

Kelsey Sutton/Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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