Simpson Volleyball goes through peaks and valleys against Southwestern

Simpson University Sports News


REDDING, Calif. - Any given season in any sport is a cycle of peaks and valleys. Coaches are always looking for ways to help their team climb through the valleys and ascend the mountain of competition. Simpson women’s volleyball coach Christy Swagerty-Vilas is attempting to teach her ladies that it is going to take hard work to get to their potential form. Thursday night, Sept. 10 in the Heritage Student Life Center was no different. Simpson displayed the talent and heart they knew they had within them, battling with the Southwestern College Eagles into the fourth game and barely coming up short.

In the first game Simpson was pushed back on their heals as Southwestern jumped out to an early lead.  Southwestern’s Caitlin Forrest did much of the damage as she served five in a row on only the fourth rotation early in the game. This pushed Southwestern ahead 12-3 and allowed them to play loose and comfortable for the remainder of the first game. With a 65 percent overall kill ratio Southwestern went on to win 25-14.

The second game was the momentum changer for the Red Hawks. Simpson played evenly throughout the entire game forcing the Eagles to go into extra points. Southwestern eventually pulled out a 30-28 victory, off a tip from Eagle’s Caitlin Forrest. Simpson’s freshman Kristina Gibson displayed serving accuracy as she racked up three aces in the second game. 

Simpson’s statement game of the evening came in the form of a 25-14 romping of Southwestern. This was the game the Red Hawks really displayed a vision for what Simpson volleyball could be this season.  It was a gritty defensive battle between both teams. This was to Simpson’s advantage, as the Red Hawks dug and out swung the Eagles. Junior Erin Brink and Gibson each served six in a row compiling four aces between the two of them. 

With the momentum in their favor, Simpson looked to even the match at 2-2, but Southwestern was not about to let their 2-0 early lead be tied.  Both teams butted heads in what would be the most evenly matched competition of the night. The Eagle duo of Forrest and Kari Faber collaborated for a total of 10 kills for the game.  Simpson combated the Southwestern duo with one of their own, in the form of sophomore Jenny Hopkins and junior Megan Heine totaling 14 digs.  With the game even up at 23-23 Simpson coach Christy Swagerty-Vilas called a time-out  to break the rhythm of Eagle Bethany Beckman who had served four in a row with one ace.  The Red Hawks would go on to win the next rally, going up 24-23.  Southwestern came back and scored the next three points, winning the match 26-24 off a kill from Forrest.

Simpson showed improvement from their previous matches displaying their potential in the third game against Southwestern. The raucous Simpson crowd never let their team feel unloved as they continued to patronize the visiting Lady Eagles throughout the competition.

Simpson now looks to earn their first win of the season on Tue., Sept. 15 at the Heritage Student Life Center. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.
(530) 226-4731