Former Castilleja and Menlo School coach Atlee Hubbard has the Menlo College women's volleyball team on a bit of a roll. As the second half of the conference season starts, she's hoping the Lady Oaks can stay hot.
Jamie Nurenberg had four service aces to help Menlo College down UC Merced in four sets on Saturday. Photo by Menlo Athletics.
The Lady Oaks (6-0 in Cal Pac play, 12-5 overall) travel to Riverside for a match with La Sierra (9-1, 17-7) on Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles, who are 12-1 at home, have two conference matches remaining and will be out to avenge their lone Cal Pac loss of the year. A Menlo victory would likely determine the regular season champion.
The Bobcats (3-1, 11-8) gave Menlo everything it could handle in the early going, opening an 8-1 advantage before the Oaks recovered for the first set win.
Menlo junior Jamie Nurenberg helped the comeback with two service aces that sparked a nice run. She had a match-high four aces on the night and the Oaks registered 13 as a team.
"As long as we're getting more aces than they are, our team is happy," Hubbard said. "Our goal was to serve tough and try to get them off their quick offense and we were able to do that for the majority of the game."
Menlo also enjoyed another strong night on the defensive side, with Courtney Calicdan recording 25 digs. She was one of four players who reached double figures in digs, joined by Nicole Yap with 11 and Emma Oehler and Kelly Sung each with 10.
The Oaks responded to a third set loss with a solid hitting performance in the final set, getting 16 kills. Just as they dominated on defense, Yap and Calicdan led the way on offense. Yap finished with a match-best 20 kills and Calicdan added 18. Kelly Sung recorded 45 assists.
"I knew this weekend was going to be tough. Pacific Union and UC Merced, they're tough opponents, they're scrappy," Hubbard said. "I thought we handled Pacific Union well on Thursday but tonight was tough because we played a completely different team, more size. They spread their offensive around so they made us work on defense."
Yap made just two hitting errors on 44 swings as she produced a .409 hitting percentage. Calicdan had a hitting percentage of .318