Hawks dropped by Beavers in volleyball season finale

It was a disappointing end for the Cosumnes River College women’s volleyball team against American River College.

ARC clinched the win with three straight sets in a highly-competitive contest, sending them into the playoffs. Multiple block attempts from sophomore Hannah Norris, and freshman Meg Maddalena, weren’t enough to stop the Beavers in the first period.

“Towards the end we slid downhill a little bit, I was hoping for a few more points like the first game,” said outside hitter Olivia Sowles.

The Hawks put up a tough fight, diving, blocking and spiking the ball, but ARC defended their home territory with pride as their gymnasium filled with cheers. The Hawks showed resiliency and players continued to encourage each other.

“If we’re on the court and one person is down and we can sense it, we all try to encourage them and pump them back up,” said Norris. “When we’re all excited, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Both teams fought hard in the second period, CRC head coach Kari Post could be heard from the sidelines yelling “hold this platform!” before CRC tied the game 22-22. But ARC won in the second period, 25-22.

Before the game, a few of ARC’s freshmen players gave flowers to the Hawks sophomores, defensive specialist Keilani Gaither, setter Lauren Smith, Norris and Sowles. Then Carson Lowden, ARC’s head coach, gave flowers to each of her sophomore players.

“The most important thing is being in control of our own skills, and in control of our own destiny,” said Lowden.

As bittersweet as the loss was for the Hawks’ sophomores, the girls were just happy to have gotten the first conference win on Nov. 11 in over three years.

“It’s great to be apart of that and break the losing streak,” said Sowles. The team considers themselves family and Norris believes that it’s the closest team she’s ever been on. Both Norris and Sowles are excited for whatever is to come in their volleyball careers.

Justine Busse and Maddalena are freshmen on the team but have committed to next year’s’ season as well.

While some players will depart, the likely returns will look to bring the same competitiveness and family atmosphere as they had this year.

“We have a couple people who will be back from this season which is going to make us stronger and continue that tradition of being sisters and a family instead of just teammates,” said Post.

Sowles had some advice for incoming players.