Yaks soccer, volleyball teams enjoy standout seasons
For the first time in two years, Yakima Valley College teams completed full seasons this fall, and both the soccer and volleyball teams ended their seasons with winning records.
Equally as important, said Athletics Director Ray Funk, was the opportunity to welcome more fans to Yaks games. Attendance during a shortened sports season in spring 2021 was severely limited due to the pandemic, especially for indoor sports.
“A significant part of the student-athlete experience is being able share the accomplishment of competing in intercollegiate athletics with the parents, friends and mentors who have supported them along the way,” Funk said. “Having people who are important in our athletes’ lives get to watch games in person again had a very positive impact on the holistic wellbeing of our student-athletes.”
The women’s soccer team just missed reaching the NWAC tournament, ending the season with a 9-5 overall record and 7-5 in conference play.
Their season included a pair of three-match win streaks, one of which included a 6-0 victory over Treasure Valley Community College and a 5-0 victory over Blue Mountain Community College.
During the season, defender Madalyn Bakker received the Northwest Athletic Conference’s “Player of the Week” award for women’s soccer for the week of October 3-9. The freshman from Desert Hills in St. George, Utah played a key role in the Yaks’ 1-0 victory against Spokane during the week. Bakker played every minute of several matches, including in each of YVC’s five shutouts.
In addition, goalie Sophia Pixton received the conference’s “Defensive Player of the Week” Award for Women’s Soccer for week 9. In a pair of victories that week, Pixton allowed just a single goal, keeping the Yaks in contention for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, the Yaks volleyball team reached the NWAC Tournament for the first time since 2013 after racking up a regular season record of 17-12 (11-5 in conference play) that included a 7-match winning streak in which they lost a single set and a 6-match winning streak during which they only gave up only three sets.
The team claimed the No. 3 seed in the NWAC championship tournament West bracket dropping matches to Edmonds College and Mt. Hood Community College in the first rounds of the tournament to close out their season.
The men’s basketball team kicked off its 2021-22 season with the Yakima Valley Jamboree scrimmage on Nov. 6. and will play in the Umpqua Invitational Nov. 19-21 in Roseburg, Ore. The Yaks will host the NWAC Crossover Dec. 16-18 and play three games at Sherer Gym.
The women’s basketball team started its 2021-22 season with the Blue Mountain Jamboree scrimmage on Nov. 6 and will play in the Blue Mountain Tip-Off Nov 19-21 in Pendleton, Ore., before playing its first home game of the season on Dec. 3 against Lane College.