June 5, 2023

The California Baptist University women’s volleyball team is in the midst of a breakout season as they are currently ranked in first place of the PacWest after a preseason prediction.

Branden Higa, head coach of the team, said it feels good to be in first place.

“Our team has worked very hard to get there,” Higa said. “But the job is not done; I only care about how we finish.”

Higa said the team has grown as both players and competitors this season.

“It’s been a big process,” Higa said. “First place is a good spot to be in, but it’s more about the next match.”

Higa said he does not tie the team’s current progress back to the preseason prediction. Instead, he said he and the team worked hard to earn the top spot in the PacWest.

“That is people’s opinion at the start of the year,” Higa added. “It was nice to get that honor, but the team and I feel it was pretty meaningless and we know we have to earn that honor.”

Higa said he looks forward to finishing strong and being around the team as they compete this season.

Jordyn Siko, senior biology major and setter, said earning first place is a big goal the
team has.

“We are very proud of the progress we have made,” Siko said. “We take pride in the fact that we have worked hard to be in first place.”

Siko said this honor comes with very big challenges and
she and the team will have to work hard.

“The team and I have made a lot of progress and we have grown together to become a very close-knit team and that is what helped us with our success this season,” Siko said. “Our maturity level as a team has improved and it reflects back to our record and how we perform on the court.”

Siko said the prediction put a target sign on the team’s back and everyone would try to take them down in the season.

“We knew that because somebody predicted we
would be in first place does not mean that it would be handed to us,” she said. “It was definitely a great experience with all of the women and we are all looking forward to keeping up the hard work in this season.”

The women’s volleyball team won their home game against Concordia University in Irvine, 3-0, in a three-set sweep Nov. 7. The team will be in action at home against  rival Azusa Pacific University Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. They will continue to play their
hardest in hopes of maintaining their first place conference

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