Oregon State volleyball sends off seniors
In hard-fought losses to the Los Angeles schools, Beaver Nation says goodbye to seniors Sawatzky, Sambrailo, Locke
Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
Over the weekend, the Oregon State volleyball team (8-22, 1-15 Pac-10) played at legendary Gill Coliseum for the last time this year but came up short, losing in three to both the Trojans (23-4, 12-4 Pac-10) Friday and the Bruins (21-7, 11-6 Pac-10) Sunday. "USC is a good team," head coach Taras Liskevych said to Sports Information and osubeavers.com. "They're a strong hitting team. We kept a couple of their hitters below their hitting numbers, but we couldn't stop their middles blocking-wise. But we had too many unforced errors on our side. They scored 51 points, and we scored 49. That means that all the other points they're getting are unforced errors on our part. We've got to get better hitting on the outside for us. Mona Kressl had a great match - certainly was our player of the match - and Martie Massey did a great job in the backcourt."
The final set scores for the match against USC were 22-25, 19-25 and 17-25.
The first set started off on a good note, with Oregon State taking the first point off of a kill by senior Jill Sawatzky. However, down 0-1, the Trojans were able to take possession and keep the lead throughout the rest of the set, though the Beavers were able to keep the score within no more than six points.
After losing the first set, OSU struggled to gain back the confidence to get a win in either of the following sets.
Freshman Mona Kressl led the team in points for the night, earning 13, while Sawatzky was close behind with 11.5. With six digs and two blocks, sophomore Camille Saxton tied freshman Becky Defoe in digging and Saxton in blocking.
Sunday, the Beavers played against the UCLA Bruins with similar results.
Though they lost the first set without putting up much of an offensive fight, the second set was one of the strongest the team has played all season, and near the end, when the Beavers led with a score of 24-22, it looked like the team was going to be able to end their losing streak with a take-down of the Bruins. Unfortunately, UCLA railed to score three consecutive points, ending the set 24-26.
The third set was also close, but unfortunately for Oregon State, not close enough, and the Bruins ended the match 21-25.
"UCLA really blocked us well in the first couple of games," Liskevych said. "They are a good team, and we had our chances in that second set - we should have really put them away - and that's been almost the theme of the year. We have to get somebody to step up to the plate."
Following the match, the team recognized their three seniors, Sawatzky, Kiersten Sambrailo and Kaitlan Locke, all who will graduate this spring. While she has been one of their strongest players in previous seasons, Sambrailo has been kept out most of this season due to injuries. Yet in her final weekend playing at Gill, Sambrailo was able to take the court in both matches.
"(Sambrailo) has had a tough four years here," Liskevych said. "She is a great player that has been injured, and we really had a great expectancy for her senior year, but it's unfortunate with her shoulder, so it's great to see her out there. Day in and day out, Jill does so much for us, and the person that is probably most improved is Mona. Mona has done a great job for us and has a great future, but this team has never quit and has a great work ethic."
Though Sawatzky wishes that she would have been able to lead her team to a NCAA conference berth, she is proud of the accomplishments she had made in her four years, including a near-4.0 GPA.
"Last year, my junior year, when we beat Oregon at home in front of a record crowd was my favorite memory here by far," Sawatzky said.
The team wraps up their season on the road this weekend against the Washington State Cougars and the No. 11 University of Washington Huskies.
Mackenzie Allen, sports writer