The Viks ended their roadtrip in Sacramento, playing the Hornets. The Hornets had an 8-10 record and 3-5 in conference. The Viks hoped to get an edge on the Northern Colorado Bears, which they shared a second place spot with. With multiple blocks by Sac State, the Hornets broke the Vikings seven-game winning streak, and the team lost 3-0.
Sac State had a 6-0 run in the first set to give them an early 7-3 lead. The Hornets, with their blocking skills, allowed only 13 points for the Vikings in the first set—the lowest they have scored since playing UCLA in early September; Gabby Hollins led the team that match with 10 kills and two aces, and Makayla Lewis had nine kills and two blocks. Luckily, Sac State played the Bears and beat them 3-0 to even the standing at 7-2 in conference play for both Northern Colorado and Portland State.
This makes it perfect for the Viks, who played the Bears on Oct. 23. With each team knowing what’s on the line, both played hard, but the Vikings prevailed. Portland State beat the Bears 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 27-25 and 25-17). The Viks showed up and didn’t let the Sac state game affect their morale. Makayla Lewis had 13 kills, one ace and two blocks. Zoe McBride showed out with 10 kills, three aces and four blocks to secure the win.
“We were just more disciplined today,” McBride said. “After Sac State, a lot of stuff was going on, we just didn’t click as well as we normally do. That wasn’t us as a team and today we really played as a team and we were us today.”
McBride, along with libero Ellie Snook, spoke to Portland State Vanguard about changing the team attitude.
McBride: “[We are] going in knowing that we’re capable of beating every team in this conference.”
Snook: “Our confidence was kinda low at Sac State, but we’re happy to be back in our home gym and our energy changed.”
That energy was felt at the game, for sure. Snook had 21 digs at the Northern Colorado match. The Viks dropped their third set in a stressful 27-25 which would’ve ended their match earlier with a clean 3-0 set win.
McBride: “I think we did a really good job of staying positive in this game. We came back at the end so we thought we still had all the momentum going into the fourth set.”
VG: And what did you think through that third set?
McBride: “Stay focused and stay determined and not let anything influence us like inside factors and outside factors. Just keep going.”
VG: What is the plan for Idaho State, this Thursday, Oct. 28, and first-place Weber State which is next on the schedule?
McBride: “Go after it. Let’s try to get to first place.”
The Viks have six games left in the regular season, and are only two losses behind Weber State, which is in first place. The Viks played Weber State in September and fell 3-1, but they are ready for the next match up.
Snook: ”We’re ready to have them at our place…the Viks are capable of beating every single team in the conference.”
Weber State is currently 10-0 this season in the Big Sky, but the Viks aren’t far behind with a 8-2 record. Northern Colorado and Montana State are tied for third with a 7-3 record. The standings are tight, but their chemistry and confidence proves that the Viks have a chance.
The next home game is against Idaho State on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. Free swag and shirts will be available at the game as you cheer for the Vikings in a green-out. The pregame is at 5:30 p.m. and is always free with your student ID. If you can’t catch the game, it will be available for you to watch on ESPN+.
The Viks finished out their final two matches of their season at home and celebrated senior day at the Northern Arizona game. The Viks drew with Southern Utah on Friday in double overtime, giving the Viks their second draw of the season. The Thunderbirds scored early, eight minutes into the first half. Chloe Huling responded in the 25th minute to give the Viks the equaliser.
Portland State outscored the Birds 15-10 with eight shots on goal. Goalkeeper Sidney O’Billovich played the full 110 minutes and kept the game to only one goal with three saves.
The Viks played their last game of the season on Sunday, playing the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona on senior day. Portland State recognised their five seniors, Natalia Blanco, Liz Hansen, Megan Cornett, Diana Santiago and Sofi Papastamos. Just like the Southern Utah match, the Lumberjacks scored early in the 13th minute, but were taken over by Parker Reichner and assisted by Ani Jensen in the 32nd minute.
It was a rainy, windy 1-1 draw at the half. But the rain didn’t stop the Viks who continued to give it their all in the full 90. In a penalty kick, Northern Arizona got past O’Billovich to give them the 2-1 lead. The Vikings had more shots—and shots on goal—than their opponent but could not get it done on senior day. The match ended 2-1 with a suspenseful last 20 minutes. O’Billovich had a save for the team, but Northern Arizona had five saves in the match.
The Vikings end their regular season 4-10-2, finishing eight in the conference. Northern Arizona, along with Montana, Northern Colorado and Weber State have all clinched a Big Sky Tournament spot and look to win. The Viks have not made the tournament since 2019, but have their eyes set on next year with young key players like Jensen and Abi Hoffman.
The men and women’s cross country team prepare for conference on Friday, Oct. 29. The Big Sky Championship will be hosted in Hillsboro with the women’s 5k at 11 a.m. and the men’s 8k at 12 p.m. This is coming after a successful meet at the Santa Clara Bronco Invite, where the men’s team finished first in the 8k and women’s in second place in the 6k. In that first place finish, the men’s team leaped over ranked schools like #14 UC Santa Barbara and #10 Cal Poly. The Viks are ranked ninth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association west region for the men’s and are ranked #12 on the women’s side.
Portland State had a bye week after a 31-10 win over Idaho State last week. Now, the team prepares for another home game against Cal Poly, which is 1-6 this season with a six game losing streak and 0-4 in conference play.
The Viks are currently 3-4 and 2-2 in conference play making them seventh in the Big Sky. The Viks look to become .500 in win percentage for the first time this season. There are four games left this regular season with only two home games left to cheer for the Viks.
The last home game is on Nov. 20 against Pacific Northwest rival Eastern Washington, who suffered an upset against Weber State this week. This was Eastern’s first loss of the season from a school that shares the same record as PSU, showing that the Eagles can be beaten. The Viks hope to also give these rivals another loss to end the season.
Portland State needs to score early if they want to continue winning every week, and defense needs to show out like they did over Idaho State. If the Viks finish the season above .500 this season, this will be the first time they have done so since 2015 when they were 9-3 with wins over Football Bowl Subdivision schools Washington State and University of North Texas.
The Cal Poly game at Hillsboro Stadium starts at 2:05 p.m. and is on ESPN+, if you can’t root for the Vikings in person.