Humboldt State's Summer Hansen jumps up to hit the ball during the Jacks' match against Chico State at Lumberjack Arena on Nov. 1. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Rivals Clash on the Volleyball Court

Jacks play constant back and forth match against Chico, but drop final set.
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Jacks play constant back and forth match against Chico, but drop final set

The Humboldt State volleyball team rallied late in their Friday match against Chico State, but came up short in the final set.

After dropping the first two sets to Chico, Humboldt battled to take the next pair of sets. The final set resulted in their second 2-3 loss in 10 days.

Summer Hansen led the Jacks with 15 kills, followed by Lenox Loving with 11 and teammates Lexi Riggs and Emma Flewell, who both recorded six kills.

The first set started off well for the Jacks as Juliana Bertolucci opened up scoring with a service ace, meaning that Chico didn’t have a chance to touch the ball.

The middle stages of the set were a constant back-and-forth with neither side able to find the definitive edge. During the closing minutes of the set, the Jacks found a five-point run to tie the set but conceded the next six to lose by 19-25.

The second set was similar to the first as the Jacks scored before trading scoring runs with the Wildcats. Chico grabbed an advantage and took the set by a score of 21-25.

Humboldt seemed to find another gear in their offensive strategy. From scoring the first point of the set to closing out the frame with a score of 25-16.

Humboldt State’s Mailai Coyle jups up to hit the ball as her teammates on the sideline watch on during the Jacks’ match against Chico State at Lumberjack Arena on Nov. 1. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Head Coach Kelly Wood attributed the turn around to well-executed play and a few changes made between sets.

“We mixed it up a little bit with Lenox,” Wood said. “They were keying on her early and we just changed up the set location for her. It was working, so that allowed her to get going a little bit. And then Summer started going.”

It wasn’t just the offensive side of the game that saw improvement for the Jacks. Wood was quick to point out how the strong defensive effort helped the shift in momentum from the team through the third and fourth sets.

“Our defense was good,” Wood said. “Everything just tightened up a little bit, and it just shifted. The momentum shifted our way.”

The Jacks rounded out the set putting together a seven-point run to finish off the set 25-17.

The match culminated in the fifth and final set with Humboldt scoring first. Yet, Chico came back, pushing through a 13 point rally in a set that is only contested to 15. The Jacks came up short in another set loss of 4-15.

Wood acknowledged that it was difficult to go through another loss but that there were still positives to be taken away from the team’s play. Wood said that is where the focus is for the remainder of the season.

“It’s hard to have a lot of confidence in yourself when you’re having a losing season,” Wood said. “But we know that we can play well at times. We just have to believe in ourselves a little bit more and have that confidence when it gets down to crunch time.”

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