Volleyball team hits early lead with strong preseason

Western’s women’s volleyball team is currently off to a strong start to their Fall season with a record of 8-5. This week they were on the road, playing Central Washington University and Northwest Nazarene University. Western lost against CWU in three sets and won against NNU three sets to two, with a day in between for rest. 

Last week, they played Saint Martin’s University, but were unable to pull out the win. The team had a slow first set, hitting 0.044% with 11 successful hits out of 45 attempts. Western had one service ace and one block, but nine attack errors and two service errors. 

Both teams scored their first points off a hitting error, but it was an attack up the middle from senior Bella MacLellan followed by a service ace from sophomore Chloe Asciuotto that brought Western the energy they needed to rally with Saint Martin’s. 

The first set finished 21-25 in favor of Saint Martins, but the second set was a positive note for Western — ending 25-18. The team’s hitting percentage improved, rising to a .467% with 17 successful kills out of 30 attempts. Western started in a point deficit early in the second set, but kills and errors from Saint Martin’s aided their success. 

The third and fourth sets were not as successful for the wolves, with 0.21% and 0.225% hitting percentages and 12 and nine errors, for a combined 21. On the positive side, in the third set Western had 10 successful kills and two service aces, and 15 successful kills and one service ace in the fourth. 

Western kill leaders were junior outside hitters Bailee Hartsook, Sarah Strus and Madison Hornback. Hartsook had 12 kills, and Strus and Hornback both had 11. Strus was also a service ace leader, along with junior setter Laney O’Neil and sophomore middle blocker Chloe Asciuotto. Strus, Hartsook and Hornback were also point leaders for the night, scoring 13, 12 and 11.5 points. 

Western’s next home game is Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. against the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the New PE Building and will be streamed live on Western Athletics YouTube.

Contact the author at howlsports@wou.edu