“New Era of NCU Volleyball”

The Women’s Volleyball team started with a fresh team this season with hope of starting a new era of NCU volleyball, with five departed seniors, five returners and seven newcomers. They finished the season (9-13, 6-12) and in seventh place, one game behind Oregon Tech for the sixth and final playoff spot.

NCU seniors Alyssa Dorr and Chelsea McGowan ended their careers on November 8th when NCU lost in four-sets to College of Idaho, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, and 25-20. Although the senior night loss was obviously a heart breaker the Beacons took a set from the historically dominate CCC power team, only the fourth time in school history.

Dorr, NCU’s court captain and the Capital One Academic All-District 4 Selection, had a 48-assist performance and nine digs. While McGowan hit .480 to lead the team with a match high, of 14 kills. Junior, Chandler Gabrio finished with 13 kills, nine digs, two blocks and two service aces. Sophomore, Cassidy Winters had ten kills and Freshman, Sydney Rothenbush led the team in digs, with 17.

I asked Senior Alyssa Dorr what her favorite game of the season was and she responded, “Our game at Warner Pac was exciting.  We were down 0-2 after the first two games, and their crowd was loud.  We mustered up the strength to win the next two games and consequently play the fifth game.  We ended up winning by two points–15 to 13.  I remember the last play: Kayla Ping with a killer dig and finishing the fight with a beautifully placed tip by Chelsea McGowan.  The sense of celebration as we came together after that last point was an incredible feeling.  No, it wasn’t the greatest game we ever played, and yes, we should have beaten them.  But witnessing our team not let down and come back from such a deficit for such a sweet win was phenomenal.”

Alyssa wants to thank her mom for always teaching her to be kind and to work hard, and for the constant love and support. Her last shout out is to her teammates, “Thank you so much for all the laughs and memories.  You made this year unforgettable, and I am so excited to see the team progress and improve in the upcoming seasons!  Keep working hard.”

The team’s success was greatly impacted by preseason bonding. Juniper McDonald couldn’t quite pinpoint an exact moment when she realized the closeness that had been created on the team, but she did have one memory from early on in the season that really broke the ice. She said, “We were all lying on the gym floor, stretching after a fall camp practice and we were all still getting to know each other. At first we sat and stretched in silence, until a few girls starting singing super loud. After a few minutes we were all just lying there stretching and singing together.”

Coach Kelly Rosin was extremely proud of how hard the girls worked during fall camp and season. In response to their tdetermination she said, “You know you are pushing your team hard and they are pushing themselves and each other when you give them a day off and they cry tears of joy! We tried to change the culture of NCU volleyball and this was a great group to start with.”

The head volleyball coach had a few shout outs to make, “Shout out to the seniors, Chelsea and Alyssa for being hard workers on and off the court and being such a great example to all underclassman.  Shout out to the coaches, the best way to learn and improve is to surround yourself with smart, loving, supportive people.  I was very blessed to work with such an awesome coaching staff this year, including our lovely team manager Ciara!” Rosin is looking forward to the level of play that next year’s team will be capable of, and says, “The best is yet to come!”

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