Evergreen wins final home game

November 3, 2003

by James J. Portune

Olympia, WA - There is only one way to describe Saturday nights 3-1 victory (32-30, 29-31, 30-28, 30-28) by The Evergreen Women's Volleyball team (10-6 Cascade Conference, 14-9 Overall) over the visiting Albertson College Coyotes (11-5 CCC, 15-8 Ovr). It was a team effort.

At the net, Albertson did not know who to focus their defensive effort on. Four Evergreen player recorded double digit kills: junior Meredith Lane (Olympia, WA / Olympia HS) - 15, senior Stephanie Short (Spokane, WA / Shadle Park HS) - 11, junior Hanna Plunk (Bloomfield, CO / Bloomfield HS) - 11, and sophomore Kristen Bartley (Lubbock, TX / Monterey HS).

Five other times this season Lane, Short and Bartley have each recorded ten or more kills in the same game. Never, in the history of the Women's Volleyball program, have four Evergreen players had double digit kills on the same night.

This outing against Albertson was vastly different that the first time these two teams met this season. In Caldwell, Idaho, on September 26, the Geoducks were swept 3-0 (30-21, 30-25, 30-24) by the Coyotes. Bartley led the team with only nine kills. That night, over the course of the three games, the team committed seven service errors and had only two service aces.

Saturday night, Evergreen served well. Bartley and Plunk lead the team with five aces apiece and the team as a whole recorded 17. This was the team's second best performance of the season, having aced Eastern Oregon the previous night 21 times.

Richele Stark (left) and Stephanie Short (right) being
honored at senior night. Photo by Trevor Tupper.

Even with assist, the team worked together to achieve the victory. As would be expected, Plunk, the starting setter, led Evergreen with a game high 31 assists. But the remaining 17 assists were spread between Short, sophomore Mandy Barnett (Marysville, WA / Marysville-Pilchuck HS), sophomore Kaylene Black (Spokane, WA / Shadle Park HS), and senior Richele Stark (Bellevue, WA /Samamish HS).

Besides continuing to build Evergreen's confidence, the win also sent a message to the other six Cascade Conference teams vying for post-season tournament berths. What it said was that Evergreen is not just a legitimate contender for one of the playoff spots but also threat to win the tournament. The only conference opponent the Geoducks have not defeated this season is Concordia University.

Who Evergreen will play in the conference post-season tournament, schedule for Nov 14-15 and hosted by Southern Oregon, will be determine this coming weekend. The Geoducks final two regular season games are on the road, against Southern Oregon Friday night (Sep. 7) and Oregon Tech Saturday night (Sep. 8).

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