The Seawolf volleyball team laid down a professional win Thursday night. Every cog of the team ran smoothly, and the result was a victory over the Montana State University Billings Yellowjackets in straight sets.
After losing senior setter Kimya Jafroudi to an ankle sprain Wednesday night, the Seawolves knew they had to play a strong team game — and that’s exactly what they did. The squad came together and shut down the Yellowjackets 25-19, 25-21, 25-18.
Freshman outside hitter Julia Mackey had a monster outing. Mackey finished the night with a career-high of 18 kills. Freshman outside hitter Katelynn Zanders was second on the team in kills with eight.
Junior setter Siobhan Johansen recorded a double-double in assists and digs. Johansen led the team in both categories, totaling 31 assists and 13 digs.
Freshman outside hitter Sarah Johnson and sophomore libero Jordan Bush were right behind Johansen in digs, both adding 12 apiece.
Jafroudi is an assist machine as well as a proven team leader. Losing her to an ankle sprain could have crippled the Seawolves. Julia Mackey described how the team avoided that outcome.
“Everyone had to step up and play their role a little bit stronger,” said Mackey. “Communication was big. We had to communicate more and talk to each other.”
One player wasn’t going to make up for the loss of Jafroudi. Everyone on the team took a step forward in her absence, and it earned the Seawolves an important late-season win.
With the season winding down, now is the time for the team to play its best volleyball. The Seawolves like where they’re at but don’t think they have reached their full potential quite yet.
“I think this game proved that we are still growing,” said Mackey. “I think we’re reaching that goal we set for ourselves.”
Thursday night’s game also proved how far the Seawolves have already come. Not only did they rise up to win without Jafroudi, but they also won in a convincing fashion. That’s a good statement to send other teams heading into the last stretch of the season.
The Seawolves have no home games remaining. Their final test will come at the NCAA Division II West Regional Championships, which starts Nov. 29 at a location that has yet to be determined.