Vanessa Kuffner, Staff Writer
Coach Jon Killingbeck began his second-year coaching Saint Martin University’s Women’s volleyball squad by leading them to break the school record for most wins in NCAA Division II. He reflected on the season and the accomplishments of the volleyball team, as they set a division record this year.
The Saints have an 8-16 record with a 5-7 record at home. In addition to setting a school record, the Saints had their first win against Central Washington University since 2004, winning the match 3-2. The sets were close each time, but the Saints came away victorious against their long-time rivals at the home meet.
Only five matches earlier, the Saints won their first ever conference match against Concordia, 3-1. Getting an early lead, the Saints came away with the win before a cheering crowd in only four sets. At Northwest Nazarene University, the Saints also took a set off the Crusaders for the first time in school history. “I think it’s all about the players, when the staff came in they bought into working hard and being better than in the past. So it’s great for the players because they worked hard to get that.” Killingbeck said.
Killingbeck noted, “This year we have had some adversity, but our team every time somehow rallied around that after and been stronger. When there could have been times when they wanted to fold up their chairs and go home they have actually come out on the other side and been more eager to be here and be better. So, I think our team has handled adversity and learning from it much better.”
The Saints have rallied back time and time again this year. As the season is coming to an end, recruiting has started to fill the void of the four graduating seniors, “We do feel whether it’s the talent we have in the gym or the talent we sign on national signing day, we feel that we are definitely bringing in pieces that could help us even further what we have been doing.” Seniors Hannah Neumann, Nicolette Nesbitt, Rebecca Mitchell, and Jenifer Codd will be able to finish out their season saying they set a school record. They will leave behind a legacy that the new incoming freshman can continue. “We are super excited about our incoming freshman, a setter, a middle, and with hopes to sign a few more here in the next few months for the season.” said Killingbeck.
With the women’s volleyball season coming to a close, Killingbeck wanted to leave the community with a few words about volleyball. “I think volleyball is a misunderstanding of what you did in P.E. as a high schooler or years ago. College volleyball is faster and more exciting than what people give it credit to until they come out and see it for themselves.” The Saints play their last home game on Nov. 11 against Western Washington University and end the 2017 season on the road.