It is the beginning of September, meaning the start of sports for Whittier College, the Women’s Volleyball team being one of them. After finishing with an overall record of 10-16 in the previous season, there was a glimpse of hope when they finished with a 7-4 record in their final 11 games of the 2021 season. Although the Poets 2021 season did not turn out the way they had hoped, there is no looking back for the 2022 season. For a season with returning players and some new recruits, the possibilities are endless. Months of offseason training and practice, preparing these women for the new season.
Returning Poet, fourth-year Della Trimble, emphasized the exhilaration she had for the season, saying “I am so excited to start the 2022 season! We have such an amazing group of girls that work hard on and off the court, and we can’t wait to start the conference.”
In addition, fellow teammate Briana Rodriguez, who is a third-year Poet, shared her enthusiasm. “I feel very confident in our team this year. I’m very excited to see the impact our freshman can have on our season, especially with the great chemistry we’ve built so far as a whole. I look forward to competing in general and seeing how far we can take it.”
The competition began on September 2, they took part in the Pacific Coast Classic. During this two day event, the Poets came out with a win and two losses. The Poets came out victorious against New England College, beating them in three sets, 3-0. However, after their win, they were not able to overcome their matchup versus Millikin University. The following day, they had a pair of losses against Linfield University and Babson College. Despite their losing efforts, they made sure to compete and show a lack of effort. In their loss versus Linfield, the Poets set forth their competitive nature by taking their opponents to five sets. Despite this, the women took this weekend as an opportunity to get in rhythm, learn, and move forward to the next game.
Rodriguez discussed how the Poets performances at the Pacific Coast Classic will shape the rest of their season. Rodriguez stated, “I believe we learned that we have a lot more room to grow in a positive aspect…This tournament allowed us to get a feel for how good we can be, and how much better we can do when we fix the little things.” She added on by saying, “We learned that as long as we keep having a positive attitude and lean on each other for support it only goes up from here. Being able to play against many talented and nationally ranked teams so far will give us a great amount of confidence and motivation to keep a consistent fight this season.”
Trimble also expressed what the tournament meant for what lies ahead in regards to the 2022 season; “[t]his weekend taught us that we have all the pieces to be a great team. This season is not going to be easy. We are a very young team, but we can use that as an advantage. We have the drive and we all want to win together.”
Trimble and Rodriguez make up a small part of this talented roster, the women look forward to representing Whittier College in a proud fashion. For the remainder of the season, the Poets have ten home games, while eleven will be away. Last year, the Poets had a record of 8-8 within the SCIAC Conference.
The Poets came out victorious in their exciting home opener, the WC Invitational, beating the University of Puget Sound in four sets. After taking the early lead by winning the first set, Puget Sound responded making the match 1-1. However, the Poets outlasted the Loggers by dominating the next two sets to take the victory at home, winning in four sets. Freshman Cheyanne Ybanez led the team in kills, ending the game with 17. Teammate, freshman Maya Cicero, also had a stand-out performance with a .500 hitting percentage, along with 8 kills. Junior libero, Tori Mejia, shined bright on the defensive end with 17 total digs, which led the match.
After a loss to UC Santa Cruz, they look to redeem themselves this weekend when they take a short trip to Thousand Oaks to partake in the Cal Lu Fornia Invite. The Poets currently have a record of 2-4, but it is still early in the season with many games to be played. Head Coach Duarte-McDermott and the Poets keep their attention ahead on the remaining 19 games. You can catch the Poet’s next home game in the Graham Athletics Center on Tuesday, September 20th, where they battle Claremont-M-S at 7:00 PM. Go Poets!
Featured Photo Courtesy of WCPOETS