The Cyclones completed their last match, but they did not exit Haas Pavilion in tears. The fall 2006 volleyball team ended the season to the sound of cheering.
On Nov. 5, Mills beat the Pacific Union College Pioneers 3-0, making this the team’s third win of the season.
Mills sophomore Rebecca Frank won the first point of the game, slamming the ball into PUC’s half of the court floor before they could react.
While most of the initial points awarded to Mills resulted from the other team dropping the ball while passing, Mills players began scoring from their own efforts by the middle of the first match.
Frank and sophomore Loke Davis as well as freshwoman Alissa Chasten created a human barrier at the net, blocking four consecutive shots from the other team and allowing the Cyclones to win the first game 30-22.
The winning streak continued through the second game, which included a six point streak after the Cyclones leveled five consecutive hits against PUC. When the other team dropped the ball, the sixth point was awarded. Mills won the second match 30-15.
The third game began with Mills scoring 5-1, with a 21-7 score by the middle of the game, but a lull at this point allowed the Pioneers to gain six points. The game ended with the Cyclones winning 30-14.
Fans in the bleachers said that this was the best game the Cyclones ever played this season.
“I’ve never seen this team play like that – so completely and having each other’s backs. That’s what gave me the energy to keep yelling,” said freshwoman Perla Cantu, who would scream and hold up a homemade sign every time a player scored.
Members of the volleyball team agreed with fan sentiment.
“We had a lot of enthusiasm and worked as a team,” Chasten said. “We stopped worrying about our mistakes and tried having fun on the court.”
Rhonda Kaluah, the coach for PUC, said that this game was a complete reversal of the last match they played with Mills on Sept. 23.
“We already beat them three straight, but now they beat us three straight,” Kaluah said. “They’ve improved since the last game, and it’s thanks to their coach.”
Cyclones Coach Daniel Rasay was less forthcoming about taking all the credit.
“I just told them to play well, and they did. They’ve been improving since day one, not just in skills, but in a lot of building of character,” he said.
After the game was over, Rasay commemorated the final game of the season by placing one purple flower lei and one yellow flower lei around each player’s neck, a tradition he carried on from his own college days.
“For graduation or the end of the senior year, you give out leis instead of bouquets,” Rasay said.
Chasten believes that Mills will continue to flourish in the years to come.
“This is the beginning of a whole new chapter,” she said.
Along with this game, the Cyclones won 3-1 against William Jessup and 3-0 against the Mills Alumnae Team.