There are certain points over the course of a season that helps define a team's progress. The Menlo College women's volleyball team experienced just such a moment Wednesday night when it downed No. 17 Vanguard, 25-19, 25-23, 16-25, 23-25, 15-13, in a nonconference contest in Atherton.
The Oaks (6-4) lost to the Lions earlier in the season in a four-set match. Menlo got some of its groove back with the home victory ahead of a lengthy road trip. The Oaks are at William Jessup and UC Santa Cruz this weekend.
Senior Courtney Calicdan recorded a match-high 26 kills to lead Menlo, though it might have been the Oaks defensive mindset that set the tone.
Renn Isobe dug 33 balls during the match to help Menlo's tenuous back row keep rallies going. Calicdan, with 17 digs, and Victoria Arild, with 16, matched Isobe's total. Kelly Sung had 12 digs to do with 30 assists.
Jamie Nurenberg and Bayley Blackney made the most of their attack chances, combining for 14 kills, with one hitting error among them, and a hitting percentage of .333.
It all came down to the fifth set, with Menlo recovering from an early 3-point deficit to tie the set at 7, and then again at 11.
The Oaks were at match point, leading 14-12. Vanguard (13-5) saved one point but Courtney Wong made sure it went no further with a kill.
Menlo takes a four-match winning streak into its contest against the Warriors, in Rocklin, on Friday night at 7 p.m.