Volleyball Team Looks Forward to Conference Tournament

The Portland State women’s volleyball team is currently at the top of the Big Sky Conference as they strive to win their remaining regular season games. The Vikings have had an impressive season so far with an overall record of 17-10, and 14-3 in the conference. They hope to continue their momentum going into the Big Sky Conference Tournament Nov. 29-30.
Senior outside hitter Aubrey Mitchell has been playing for PSU since the beginning of her college career and has made a positive impact on the team. Mitchell earned the title of 2011 Big Sky All-Conference Honorable Mention and 2011 Big Sky All-Conference Academic Honors. One of the highlights of her career was in 2012 when Vikings played against Weber State, Mitchell hit .812 (13-0-16) that night.
Mitchell expressed that she has had a passion for volleyball since childhood, “I’ve been playing since 7th or 8th grade and got serious about volleyball about freshman year of high school.” When asked if anyone else in her family played volleyball Mitchell said, “My family grew up playing soccer. My whole life it was soccer, basketball and track. I was the only child who played volleyball and I loved it, so I decided to do that instead of soccer.”
When asked what her biggest challenge was during her career at PSU she said, “When I had to get surgery on my ankle last year. I had reconstructed surgery and then I was supposed to take up to six months to recover but I actually came back at four months. Basically making sure I’m up to date on my volleyball skills.”
Head Coach Michael Seemann commented on Mitchell’s recovery, “She’s a tough kid and I think she’s done a great job of coming back off the injury in the off-season and getting herself in the shape she needs to be in to compete. But her jump is as high as it’s ever been and she’s not going away at the end of matches, so she’s got a lot of stamina. I think that all in all, I couldn’t tell you that she has ever been injured which is good.”
In their upcoming matches the competition is going to get tougher, but Mitchell has confidence in her team, “Our expectations are to take one game at a time and keep focusing on that. We have this week left of conference, which are all very hard opponents and then we have our conference match so we’re just focusing on one game at a time and keep doing what we do best which is play.”
The Vikings hope to bring the same level of intensity from games into their practices, “[We] try to keep that emotional state in the practice gym…and I think that is our biggest challenge preparing this week is can we get our gym intensity up as close as possible to what it’s going to be like when we are in a big game,” Coach Seemann said. He adds, “That is what our challenge has been and I think [the team is] doing a good job of creating that environment.”
What is something he says to motivate his players to continue to win? “We try not to talk about records or [what team] we’re expected to beat or who we’re considered to be underdogs of; we don’t talk about things like that. We try to frame it in the sense of, we have goals as a team and one of those goals is to win conference and that this is an opponent that is essentially standing in front of you trying to take away that goal,” Coach Seemann said. He adds, “I believe I’m satisfied with what we are doing currently and if we keep doing what we do then we just continue to grow, so I think that is important to continue to identify where we are weak and continue to try to improve upon that.”
The Vikings last two regular season games are scheduled for Nov. 21st against Weber State and Nov. 23rd against Idaho State.