Club SportsSports

Oregon club volleyball finishes in top 10 at nationals

Oregon women’s club volleyball capped its best season in years with strong finishes at the National Collegiate Volleyball Federation national tournament in Kansas City last weekend. Oregon Green finished sixth in a pool of more than 140 teams in the competition while Oregon Yellow placed third in its division.

“This is one of the better teams we’ve ever had,” Oregon Green senior Monica Frick said. “Before, when we played big teams we didn’t do well, but now we’re just as big as them,”

Green’s roster featured seven seniors who have played for the club throughout college. The team played without its head coach, Mallory Stark, who left the program for personal reasons.

The decision shocked many players on the team, especially those who Stark coached all four years.

The women governed themselves for the remainder of the year with senior captains Brooke Baldwin and Meredith St. Clair at the helm. Baldwin and St. Clair managed the team’s lineup, strategy and paperwork.

Their teammates responded positively to the lack of an authoritative presence on the sidelines during practices and games. Green secured a second place finish in its tournament in Las Vegas, its most challenging tournament of the season prior to nationals.

Green’s sixth place finish and advancement to the gold division at nationals is an improvement on its bronze division win in 2014.

“This is definitely the culmination of our hard work,” St. Clair remarked of she and the other six seniors on the squad. “But we also have amazing underclassmen—the best we’ve had in all four years—who pick up our slack and are great energy-rallying points.”

Sophomore middle Allison Pehanick is one underclassmen who played a key role in Green’s success this season. She helped the women to a title at the PIVA Winter Warmup tournament and was named an honorable mention to the women’s Division I all-tournament team.

“We had an incredibly talented and competitive team this year, which made for a successful and rewarding experience,” Pehanick said.

The men’s team built on its bronze division victory last season with a ninth overall finish at nationals.

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Kenny Jacoby

Kenny Jacoby

Kenny is the senior sports editor for the Emerald. He spent two years studying computer and information science before changing his major to journalism. He also freelances for the Register-Guard, interns for the Eugene Weekly and works as a research assistant for UO journalism professor Seth Lewis.