Vanessa D'Amico of Menlo College led her team to a win in its California Pacific Conference opener and earned Cal Pac Player of the Week honors for the first time this season.
A member of the Lady Oaks' team now has earned conference Player of the Week honors for three-straight weeks.
D'Amico was consistent in No. 24 Menlo's two-game weekend and helped the Lady Oaks to their 74-41 win over La Sierra on Saturday. The sophomore guard has proven herself as one of the best three-point shooters in the nation, shooting 44 percent and averaging three 3-pointers per game.
Last weekend, she went 9-for-15 from three-point range and scored 32 points to help Menlo split its two games. In addition to her efforts on the offensive end, D'Amico notched five steals.
Menlo (4-3) used a stifling defensive effort and a strong showing from both the free-throw line and beyond the arc to collect its first conference win. Menlo forced the Eagles (2-6) into 19 turnovers and held them to just 22 percent shooting from the field. Menlo also dominated the glass to the tune of a plus-13 rebounding differential. All of these factors added up to a happy head coach Shannon Osborne after the game.
"We came out focused and ready to play tonight," she said. "We were especially focused on the defensive end and we executed our game plan very well. On offense, we did a good job moving the ball and getting good looks."
Menlo shot 53 percent from three-point range and made 16 of 18 attempts from the line. D'Amico led the way with a game-high 17 points.
Menlo opened its 2013-14 Cal Pac schedule earlier than usual this year when it downed conference newcomer La Sierra, 71-68, in Riverside on Saturday evening.
The Oaks took a 17-point lead into halftime and held on in the second half to secure the win and improve to 2-4 on the young season. Four Oaks chipped in double-digit scoring effort on 53 percent shooting and the team combined for 21 assists, the most in a single game this season.
Keith Bowman continued his early season dominance with a 19-point, seven-rebound performance that included an 8-for-14 shooting effort from the field. Bowman, the reigning Cal Pac Player of the Week, is now ranked 27th in the nation in points per game (21.6) and 41st in field-goal percentage (57 percent).
Menlo senior Charles Barnes added 18 points, which included a 3-for-6 effort from deep. Barnes also pulled down four rebounds. Sophomore Dylan Severson and senior John Smith were the final two Oaks to reach double-digits in scoring with 10 points each.
The Lady Oaks faced a tough test in the opening round of the 2013 NAIA National Championships in the No. 14 Westmont Warriors.
A solid attack led by Westmont's Madison Serrano was enough to bring the Lady Oaks season to a close with a four-set loss on Saturday evening in Southern California.
Menlo seniors Nicole Yap and Emily Tonascia played exceptionally well in the match, tallying 13 and 10 kills respectively. Yap was also the team leader in digs with 18. Junior Courtney Calicdan was equally impressive with 12 kills and 11 digs and Kelly Sung paced the Menlo offense with 44 assists and chipped in defensively with 13 digs.
The loss brings yet another successful volleyball season to a close with Menlo finishing 19-7 overall and 11-1 in Cal Pac play under first-year coach Atlee Hubbard, who last season was coaching at Menlo School. This season was the first time since 2008 that the Lady Oaks have recorded more than 17 wins in a single season.
Saturday night marked the final games in the careers of a trio of Menlo seniors including Yap, the Cal Pac Player of the Year; Tonascia and Katelyn Milligan.