Hawks win first conference match over Modesto

In a repeat of last season’s breakout victory, the Hawks volleyball team won its first conference game of the season against the Modesto Junior College Pirates, rolling them in three sets.

This game continued the Hawks win streak, as well as becoming the team’s eighth win for the season. Hawks head coach Kari Post expressed her confidence in the team’s ability to take the win.

“Honestly, I knew that we were going to play well,” Post said. “I knew from practice that we had the heart, we had the drive to do it.”

Post also said that this win was extremely important for the team, even in regards to the rest of the season.

“Being the first conference game, there was a lot of pressure on this game; it kind of sets the tone for the rest of your season,” Post said.

The first set was close for the majority of its duration. Both teams came out playing strong, with Hawks sophomore defensive specialist Maya Young even rolling into a table in order to keep the ball in play. The set went to the Hawks, ending 25-22.

Throughout most of the second set, the Hawks were behind in points, being up to four points behind during the set. After the Pirates furthered their lead and brought the set to 24-22, the Hawks called a timeout. Young said that Post told the team to stay in control of the set and not give up.

“Coach [Post] came up to us and she said, ‘It’s not over,’” Young said. “She said, ‘we can do this’ and ‘push’ and ‘all it takes is one pass.’”

The Hawks immediately came back, scoring four back-to-back points to win the set.

The Hawks took an early lead at the start of the third set, leading 3-0. However, the Hawks did start to slip around the middle of the set, letting the Pirates get to 16-12. The Hawks began to gain back their momentum soon after though, scoring after a long volley and a diving catch by sophomore defensive specialist Justine Busse. After an intense set, the Hawks were able to come from behind and take the final set, 25-23.

Freshman middle blocker Destinee Elliott said that one of the team’s strongest assets was a positive attitude and cooperative focus.

“[Our strongest asset was] Staying positive and picking each other up, not letting down at all,” Elliott said.

Young expressed her confidence in the team’s ability to be a contender this season.

“I think winning and winning 3-0 is a huge deal,” Young said, “and I think that now we’re a force to be reckoned with in our conference, and teams are going to be hesitant against us this year.”

This win puts the Hawks 1-0 for conference games this season, and 8-2 for the season overall.