Women’s volleyball team shows off their gameplay to local players

Grace Wells (No. 12) and Megan Harrington (No. 6) reach for a block at the net on Oct. 12 in the Sports Pavillion at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Shortly after, the team rallied together to clinch the third set, 27-25.

Allison Budde, Staff Writer

City College women’s volleyball team battled Moorpark College on Wednesday night, Oct. 12 in the Sports Pavillion. The team hosted its local high school night, meaning all local high school volleyball players get to watch the match for free.

Energy was high throughout the whole game and the stands were filled with students, friends, family, and high school players. 

“I don’t think there’s a lot of knowledge on how high a level junior college volleyball can be,” Head Coach Kat Niksto said. “I don’t think our local high schoolers always get to appreciate how gorgeous our campus is and how great our sports programs are.”

Mikayla Butzke is a setter on the City College team and previously attended a local high school. She had old teammates in the stands who are currently local high school players to come watch her and the team play. She thought back to her high school self and the benefits she would have had getting the opportunity to watch a City College game. 

“It would have been a great insight into the speed of the game and how it’s different from high school level,” Buztke said. “Going from the JV team in high school to here, it’s a much different dynamic.”

The goal when planning local high school night was to show younger local players that City College is an option when looking to their future. The City College team showed that game-play can be intense and competitive at a junior college level.  

“It would have been really awesome to come in and see the chemistry between the team, and super exciting knowing I can get that in college,” Buztke said.

Freshman Piper Ellbogn-Pettersen shared how valuable it can be to watch a sport when trying to improve or go to the next level with it.  

“I think you can learn a lot from watching that it’s all confidence and all mental,” Ellbogn-Pettersen said. “Positive mentality and playing for your teammates, that’s how you go from good to great.” 

City College put on a fierce game for the crowd and showed their passion, dedication, and perseverance. The team and coaches smiled through the whole game and didn’t let mistakes or losses defeat their spirit. 

Coach Niksto expressed how proud she is of her team and wants to show off their talents and bond.

“I was trying to get them to come, to show them we got a really good thing going on here,” she said. 

The two teams were neck and neck most of the game. However, City College fell short three out of four sets. Even though the game did not end with a win, the team is only looking forward from here and are ready to continue practicing.

“We’re pretty bummed because this is our first loss in conference,” Coach Niksto said. “But we’re going to try and reset in practice tomorrow for our game on the road on Friday.” 

City College’s next home game will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.