Sunday, 25 February 2024

Mendocino College Volleyball wraps up season

UKIAH – In his first season at the helm of the Mendocino College’s Women’s Volleyball program, Ori Polkinghorne feels a sense of satisfaction with how his team performed.

“Our players worked extremely hard all season and we were competitive in nearly every conference match I was very pleased with that,” Polkinghorne said. “We ended up in the middle of the pack, but we let a few matches slip away that I think we should have won.”

An example of that was Mendocino’s final match versus Los Medanos College last week. The Eagles lost in three sets to the fourth place Mustangs: 30-27, 30-18 and 30-27.

Mendocino finished with a Bay Valley Conference record of 6-8, which landed them in fifth place out of eight teams. The Eagles finished with an overall record of 9-14.

Top performers for Mendocino against Los Medanos College were Freshmen Shana Hiatt (Clearlake) who scored 14 points on 11 kills, had two aces and a block.

Freshman Passion Allen-LeNard (Lower Lake) contributed five kills, three blocks and two aces.

According to Polkinghorne, the elevated play of the Eagles’ Freshmen struck a positive note for next year's team.

Polkinghorne said he and Assistant Coach Jeff Whitby agree that they have a good foundation to build on for next year. “We hope that our Freshmen will return and that we’ll be able to recruit some strong players to join them.”

When asked about recruiting needs, Polkinghorne replied, “A setter and some height would be a great start!”

Mendocino College sophomore middle hitter Jamie Brown (Potter Valley) was selected to the All-Conference Team for her standout season. Brown was ranked in three of the six Bay Valley Conference statistical categories: seventh in blocks per game, 10th in kills per game and 12th in hitting average (.246).

“Jamie was our co-captain and our go-to hitter. She did a great job for us this year and deserves this recognition,” Polkinghorne added.

Other Eagles making the Bay Valley Conference stats list were sophomore Sarah Luetke (Yreka), who finished second in the conference in digs per game with 4.17. Sophomore Jenny Stark (Clearlake) finished sixth in setting assists per game. Hiatt finished in seventh place in aces per game.

“We had solid contributions from all 10 of our players this year. We were fortunate to be able to work with such a great group,” Polkinghorne said.


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