Junior outside hitter Courtney Calicdan made several big contributions on Friday, not only to help herself but also to give the Menlo College women's volleyball team an important victory in its Cal Pac Conference opener.
Calicdan recorded 18 kills and the Lady Oaks downed visiting La Sierra, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 15-13, handing the Golden Eagles their first conference setback following four victories.
While Menlo (1-0, 6-4) opened its conference schedule with an impressive win, Calicdan was busy moving up the career list for kills. She passed two former players to move into eighth place with 469.
"Two nights in a row Courtney Calicdan put in a lot of kills for us and she was big for us again," Menlo coach Atlee Hubbard said. "It was a hard fought match and I'm glad that our team responded after last night (a four-set loss to UC Santa Cruz)."
La Sierra (4-1, 9-5) did not drop a set in its three previous matches, all against Cal Pac opponents. The Golden Eagles also won the first set on Friday before the Lady Oaks rallied to win the next two matches.
La Sierra tied the match with a victory in the fourth set, setting up a closely-contested fifth set, in which neither team led by more than three points.
Menlo started to take control of the match and opened an 13-11 advantage and turning to Calicdan and Bayley Blackney to finish things.
"Both teams struggled on passing so there was a lot of pressure on our outsides to swing," said Hubbard. "I would have liked to get more of my hitters involved but that's kind of the way it goes sometimes when you don't pass well."
Menlo returns to nonconference action next Wednesday for a rematch with UC Santa Cruz and then travels to Oakland to take on Mills College on Friday.
Menlo College hopes to continue the momentum it gained with its first win last week. The Oaks (1-2) host Pacific University (2-0) at noon Saturday.
Wade Hawkins made his first career start at quarterback a week ago and proved effective in a 35-6 win over Pomona-Pitzer. Hawkins was 15 for 28 for 208 yards and three touchdowns.
Four different receivers caught at least two passes last week, including Michael Alexander's pace setting four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. Robert Gehre caught three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Thomas Reynolds was a workhorse for Menlo's ground game, carrying 14 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.
The Oaks (2-1-1) host UC Merced (1-1) in a nonconference match at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Menlo is coming off its first loss of the season, a 3-0 setback to visiting San Diego Christian.
Andrew Cota leads the Oaks with three goals and two assists for eight points. He's taken 17 shots, 11 on goal.
Menlo (1-1) hosts UC Merced (1-1) in a nonconference match at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in its third game of the month. The Lady Oaks had one match canceled.
Danielle McCarthy is the only Menlo player with more than one goal, though as a team the Lady Oaks have outscored their opponents by a 10-2 margin.
Menlo also holds a 34-3 advantage in shots on goal.