KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Third year Head Coach Andrew Clifton and his Oregon Tech Volleyball program are coming off an exciting 2017 season that saw the Lady Owls go 8-12 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference and 10-15 overall. Last season they found themselves in eight, 5-set matches, half of which were against nationally ranked opponents. Oregon Tech also beat 25th ranked (at the time) Eastern Oregon University at home in 3-sets.
The Owls ended the 2017 season in 7th place in the CCC and missed the playoffs by one spot for the second year in a row. The CCC Coaches feel the Owls are improved and have voted them to finish in 6th, competing in one of the toughest volleyball conferences in the nation.
The College of Idaho volleyball program has earned the top spot as the Yotes received eight first place votes and a total of 117 points. C of I finished last year 28-7 overall, 15-5 in conference play, advancing to the CCC tournament championship game before succumbing to Corban University in a 5-game thriller.
Oregon Tech Volleyball Program is looking to make this 2018 season a memorable one. "We had a great off-season and the energy and level of play going into this fall is the highest I have seen since I have been here," said Coach Clifton. "We will also be adding some height in the middle and right-side as well as some very athletic players in key skill positions. I am very excited to see how our freshman class fits into this fabulous returning group."
The Owls will be returning five starters from a year ago including seniors Chase Bohman and Isabella Smith. Bohman will be entering her second season with OIT after transferring from Linn Benton Community College. In 2017 she finished the season 9th in the nation and 2nd in the CCC in kills per set and was a First Team All-CCC selection. Smith will be entering her senior year as a 3-year starter and finished the 2017 season in the top ten for the second year in a row in digs per set.
The team will also see some consistency in the setting position with returning starting and setter, Jaime Toedtemeier (Toed-eh-my-er). "Last season Jaime ran the court with a lot of maturity as a freshman and has a much better understanding of our offense going in to 2018," said Clifton. Toedtemeier also finished the 2017 season 1st in the CCC in service aces per set. Also returning is Senior Bailey Nelson who will be retuning as one of the best passers and diggers on the team. "Bailey has shown some superb leadership skills and has some of the best ball control I have ever seen at Tech," said Clifton.
The Oregon Tech Volleyball team will be counting on some underclassman to fill a few integral positions as well this year. The Owls will be counting on some firepower from Sophomore Camryn Johnson as well as solid play from Sophomores Kayley Andersen, Ireland Bennet and McKenna Woolley. Coach Clifton feels very strongly about the Owls chances to make this season one for the Oregon Tech history books. "I am very excited to get started this fall with this group. We have a cohesiveness on this team that I have not seen in a long time and the level of Volleyball IQ is very impressive."
Oregon Tech Volleyball will open their 29-match season on the road to play Western Oregon University and Concordia University (both NCAA Div. II) on August 16 and 17 respectively. Then they will travel to William Jessup University and Southern Oregon University for tournaments. Cascade Conference play will start on August 31 when the Owls travel to the College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon before finally playing their first home match on Friday, September 7 against Walla Walla University at 4:00 pm.
2018 CCC Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Poll
The NAIA women's volleyball preseason poll will be released August 14th.