Unlike their cross-town rivals the Portland Pilots, who suffered their first losses of the season this weekend and sit at 12-2, it’s been a rough start to 2018 for the Portland State Vikings. The team is just 1-13 so far this season, with the win coming 3-0 against Long Beach State a month ago.
The slow start hasn’t been totally-unwarranted though, as the team has been crushed by injuries so far this year, and only had 9 dressed players for Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Montana.
A list of injuries:
- Parker Webb is out for at least a month with a knee injury
- Jenna Mullen went down on Thursday with a concussion and is expected to miss a couple of weeks
- Sarah Brennan is out for the year with a shoulder injury
- Peyton McBride is battling illness and the team is hoping to have her back next week.
That left the team with just junior Toni McDougald at outside hitter for this weekend’s matches. To try and fill that gap, the team moved senior middle blocker Katy Wilson and sophomore setter Maddy Reeb to the outside, which then left the team with just 2 middle blockers: Timi Severson and Whitney Turner. Turner put up a heroic effort offensively, hitting 7-for-9 with 0 errors and chipping in 2 block assists. Wilson had 8 kills in sliding outside on 39 swings (.077).
The team’s leading scorer from last year Caitlin Bettenay, an Australian, transferred to San Jose State this summer. McDougald was their 2nd-best scorer, with the now-injured Brennan and Webb ranking 3rd and 4th last year. Mullen is the team’s leading scorer this season, even after missing the last two matches, with 3.18 kills/set.
A team that went 21-9 last season, with a young core, was expected to be on the upswing this year. Through injuries and transfers, however, 2018 has not begun as well as 2017 ended.
They return home next week to play 5-9 Northern Arizona and fellow 1-13 team Southern Utah.