SSU roundup: Volleyball, men's and women's soccer looking for better results
Fall athletics at Sonoma State University have gotten out to a rocky start.
Women’s volleyball and soccer, as well as men’s soccer, all got into the win column early following promising preseasons, but setbacks since then for all three teams have led to questionable outlooks and early revisions to their rotations.
The Seawolves started out the season strong earlier this month against West Virginia State and in several matches in Hawaii, dropping their first match 3-1 to Chaminade University before sweeping two matches against Hawaii Hilo and Hawaii Pacific, then coming back and winning their first home match against Dominican University last week.
The Seawolves currently have an 8-2 record, having won four straight since their last loss against Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 12 in Turlock.
Promising underclasswomen Kiana Richardson — a sophomore outside hitter from Clear Lake High — and Jenn Trephan, a freshman setter from Thousand Oaks, are making early impacts on the team. They combined for a total of 145 kills through the first 10 matches, with Richardson also getting an impressive 221 assists in the same span.
They will be in action next against Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Wolves’ Den. Tickets, which are free to SSU students, cost $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors and can be purchased at the door or online at their website.
It’s been a rough start for a women’s team that went to the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament championship game in both 2017 and 2018. After getting a hard-fought 3-2 overtime win against Oregon’s Concordia University on Sept. 5 in their first match, the Seawolves stumbled with two straight losses against Southern Oregon and Western Washington before getting back to their winning ways against Seattle Pacific on Saturday.
Although their success in recent years has followed stronger starts, a significant number of key players returned this year. Big contributors like forwards Sam Layman and Alexis Epitia, as well as freshman forward/midfielder Chiara Rigatuso, lend plenty of hope to the idea that this squad could achieve the same success as those in years past.
The team’s record is 2-2 with a game against winless Simon Fraser University at 1 p.m. Friday at the Seawolf Soccer Field next to Ives Hall. Tickets are free for SSU students, $7 for general admission and $5 for seniors.
Although it took a little while, the Sonoma State men’s soccer team got one in the win column last Saturday against Concordia University in an exciting 3-2 victory that saw a red card dealt to SSU forward Sahr Mattia in the last 20 minutes of the game. It was an energetic change of pace following three lackluster outings that saw SSU score only two goals to open the season.
After going just 4-10-3 in 2018, hopes are still high that this team — which, like the women’s team, features several returning contributors and skillful freshmen — can make a push for the playoffs this year. They are only a few years removed from a spirited push in the CCAA championship tournament in 2016, with several players from that roster still on the team and looking to provide veteran experience in an effort to emulate that success this year.
The team will host Humboldt State on Friday, Sept. 27.