It was about time the Vikings assembled another exceptionally successful season. After enjoying years of success at the Division II level during the ’90s, the Vikings had been in a bit of a dry spell since their move to the Big Sky in 1996.

This season marked the resurgence of the Portland State volleyball program, with their first 20-win season since 1995. The Viks concluded this remarkable season with a 21-9 record, finishing in second place in the Big Sky Conference to regular-season and tournament champion Sacramento State.

“Intelligent,” “exciting” and “athletic” perfectly characterize head coach Jeff Mozzochi’s squad this season. Their success began with the team’s indisputable leader, senior setter Stephanie Lavigne. Lavigne was the key component to a Viks offensive attack that was always controlled and effective. She used her experience to propel the Viks to the next level, jump-starting the offense by averaging a conference-leading 13.86 assists per game in conference play. At the conclusion of the season, Lavigne had accumulated the second-best assist total in school history, with 3,821 assists.

If Lavigne was the leader of this team with her flawless play at the setter position, junior outside hitters Jessica Brodie and Jessica Vanzant were the players that made this team thrive. With their contrasting styles, Vanzant’s remarkable power and Brodie’s quickness, this two complimented each other extremely well.

The athletic Brodie ended the 2005 season as the Vikings’ finest all-around performer, leading the team with an average of 4.39 kills per game, 3.57 digs per game and 0.50 aces per game. Vanzant, on the other hand, preferred to dominate games rather than establish great season averages. One of her best performances was in a huge Vikings’ win against Sacramento State on May 30, where she ended the game with an unbelievable 26 kills.

While the Viks’ offense’s success was certainly a main reason they had their best season as a member of the Big Sky, the defense was equally responsible. Anchoring the middle of the Viks’ defensive scheme were middle blockers Kaylene Munson and Michelle Robertson. Both blockers ended the season ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage and blocks per game.

Junior Sarah Sirianni was impressive in her first season as the Viks’ libero. She established a school record with 43 digs in one game against Idaho State and concluded the season with a total of 485 digs, which marks fourth on Portland State’s all-time list.

Mozzochi earned Big Sky Coach of the Year honors for leading the Vikings’ to their finest season in nearly 10 years. The Viks continued to receive awards with three Vikings being named all-Big Sky performers. Brodie and Vanzant were recognized for their consistent contribution by receiving first-team All-Conference. The other Viking honored was Lavigne, who was named to the second-team All-Conference. The Viks ended their stellar season and all hope of advancing to the NCAA Tournament by being bounced out of the Big Sky Tournament in the second round at the hands of number three seed Eastern Washington.