In Head Coach Jonathan Scott’s fifth season, the women’s volleyball team earned their first winning record since 2015, going 18-11 overall and 15-7 in the conference. Still, the lack of a postseason appearance left plenty to be desired for next season.
“From the beginning, we had our expectations set on winning,” said sophomore outside hitter Jaime Cymbaluk in an email interview. “Winning the conference, going to the postseason and doing whatever it takes to get there. Looking back on last year’s record, we improved immensely and that is something we are all very proud of. Having a winning record was an expectation, but we also expected to go to the postseason, so in that aspect the season did not end how we expected it to.”
When asked about key players that stood out over the course of the season, Cymbaluk did provide an answer that shows optimism for the team’s immediate future.
“The freshmen really stood out this season,” said Cymbaluk. “It is difficult coming in and being new, but they all did an amazing job adjusting to the pace of college ball. The sophomore class is also very strong and gained a sense of leadership on the team this season.”
Freshman defensive specialist Courtney Dyer agreed that expectations were extremely high at the start of the season, stating in an email interview that “the talent on this team was too high to not make it to the postseason.” She did, however, mention one fellow freshman that deserved recognition.
“The player that comes to mind is Rachael Schlect,” said Dyer. “I have played with a lot of good all-around players outside but the difference between Schlect and the others are the passion for the game. It was encouraging to always look over when we were down in a game and to see her have a smile and determination on her face. She is someone who is consistent and a key player.”
Schlect accumulated 381 points, 29 assists, 36 total blocks and 241 digs over the course of the season. She also earned PacWest Freshman of the Week honors four times. Other noteworthy players included Dyer, who earned a Freshman of the Week award of her own, and junior setter Cara Keturakis, who earned PacWest Player of the Week honors twice.