Nearing the end

Volleyball, women’s soccer obtain key wins as season wraps up

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

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This Week in Falcon Sports

Before Saturday’s matchup, Seattle Pacific University’s volleyball team was one game behind Montana State University Billings. After losing the first set to MSUB, they won the next three sets to take the match, equaling the two team’s conference record on the season.

The win against Montana State University Billings was the team’s second in a row. 

“I think anytime you win it builds confidence, but I think even more so it’s the way you win,” head coach Abbie Wright said. “We definitely had some moments in the last two games that showed we can play at the next level and it’s building on the way we were able to perform certain skills that should give us confidence.” 

The first set was tight the entire way, as neither team was able to take a lead of more than four points throughout. The game was tied 24-24 when MSUB won two straight points to put the game away. The Falcons held a slim 13-12 lead in the second set before going on a 12-2 run to win the set and even the match.

The third set was another tight battle, tied at 15 points each until the Falcons again pulled away to win 25-18. SPU jumped out quickly in the fourth and final set and had to withstand a late match comeback to earn the victory, winning the set 25-16.

Junior Maddie Batiste had 19 kills to lead the Falcons, which helped her gain the GNAC Volleyball offensive player of the week

Senior Gabby Oddo had 17 kills and junior Gabi Stegemollar had 13.

The win pulled SPU into a tie with MSUB for eighth in the conference. Both teams have four wins and six losses. The team will be back home this weekend to take on Northwest Nazarene University and Central Washington University, beginning the second half of the conference schedule, where the Falcons will play all of the conference teams again. 

Since we have played all of these teams once, it’s fun to re-scout and try and capitalize on some opportunities that maybe we did or didn’t get to last time,” Wright said. 

Women’s soccer held onto second place in the conference standings with two wins this week: first against Saint Martin’s University, then against Central Washington University.

After a very defensive half against SMU, the Falcons began to get the offense going early in the second half. In the 52nd minute, sophomore Taylor Menkens pounced on a loose ball after a corner kick and sent a shot past Saints’ goalie Sophie Mendoza. The goal was Menkens’ first as a Falcon and gave them a 1-0 lead.

The team scored again eight minutes later. Freshman Chloe Gellhaus received a through ball from senior Megan Moore and calmly put the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. After the Saints’ Maddison Maffeo scored on a free kick to make the score 2-1, Gellhaus struck again, hitting a long, looping, left-footed shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal. Gellhaus’ two goals gave her the honor of GNAC Women’s soccer offensive player of the week, and she now has four goals on the season, tied for the lead on the team with junior Sierra Smith.

Central Washington played the Falcons tougher on Saturday, forcing the Falcons to play into overtime to get the win. The Falcons fired 22 shots at the goal, but only the 22nd went in. Goalie Emily Thomson knocked a Falcon cross-away from the goal, but she knocked it right into the path of Megan Moore, who put the ball into the net to get the win.

There are only five games left for the Falcons before the conference tournament. They will go on the road next week to face the top team in the conference, Western Washington University, as well as MSUB.

Men’s soccer only played one game this week and did not fare as well, losing 2-0 to Concordia University Portland. Brandon Laun had both a first and a second half goal for the Cavaliers. Junior Alex Mejia had four shots to lead the Falcons, and Falcon goalie Lars Helleren had five saves.