Menlo College volleyball signs a setter


Monica Hruby became the latest member of Menlo College's volleyball recruiting class of 2015 as Oaks coach Atlee (Hubbard) Frechette recently announced the signing of the high school senior setter out of Skutt Catholic in Omaha.

"I am very excited about Monica joining Menlo volleyball," Frechette said. "She is an experienced high-level setter who also puts up a bigger block for us and knows how to lead on the court."

Hruby was a tri-captain for the Skyhawks, who reached the Class B state championship match and who finished sixth in the state rankings by MaxPreps.

She becomes the fifth member of the signing class, one of the most important group of newcomers in a while.

Menlo will compete in the Golden State Athletic Conference after winning the past three Cal Pac titles and advancing to the national NAIA tournament.

The GSAC currently consists of eight schools from California, including former Cal Pac rival William Jessup, and Arizona Christian.

The Oaks (17-11 overall) went 3-6 against six teams in the GSAC in the fall, with five of those teams nationally-ranked at the time of their matches, including No. 4 Biola (La Mirada) and No. 2 Concordia (Irvine).

Hruby, in addition to all-league, all-area and all-state honors, was named the academic All-Conference team three consecutive years.

"Monica has a strong commitment to academics," Frechette said. "With plans to major in business and marketing, I see a bright future for her at Menlo."

She joins a diverse group that includes outside hitter-middle blocker Megan Young out of Weyauwega High in Wisconsin, who signed in January, and a trio of players who committed in November: middle blocker-outside hitter Maddie Clegg (Chagrin Falls HS, Ohio), outside hitter Maggie McDonald (Notre Dame Belmont HS) and libero Malia Luis Mateo (Saint Francis HS, Hawaii).

Women's basketball

No. 14 Menlo travels to Vallejo to meet Cal State Maritime on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with a chance to clinch at least a tie for the Cal Pac Conference regular-season title.

The Oaks (6-0 Cal Pac, 18-4 overall) have a two-game lead on the Keelhauers (5-2, 11-8) with four games remaining.

A victory would give Menlo, which plays at Simpson (0-7, 3-23) on Saturday, a three-game edge with three to play.

The Oaks have won their past five and bring in a 33-game, regular-season conference win streak into Thursday's game. They have also gone 6-0 in Cal Pac playoffs since their last loss, Jan. 28, 2012, at Simpson.

Menlo is outscoring its opponents by over 23 points a game (72.9-49.8) and averages nearly 40 rebounds a contest.

Senior Laurel Donnenwirth leads the Oaks in both categories, averaging 15.4 points and 10.5 rebounds. Amber Lane averages 10.2 points and a team-high 5.4 assists per game. Aaliyah Sowards averages 10.6 points and leads the team with 47 steals. Tori Conley leads with 17 blocked shots.

Men's basketball

Menlo (1-5, 2-20) hopes to end a five-game losing streak when it takes on host Cal State Maritime at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It won't be easy.

The Keelhauers (6-1,14-9) have won six straight and are a game out of first place.

The Oaks, who have lost three of their past five by 4 points or less, played Cal State Maritime tough at home two weeks ago, losing 68-64. They also lost to first-place Simpson by the same score.

Menlo averages 65.3 points a game on 38.5 percent shooting, while allowing 73.5 points on 50.4 percent shooting.

Mikey Eggleton leads the Oaks with a 11.3 scoring average. He also leads in assists with 62.

Men's wrestling

Menlo (4-4) competes at San Francisco State in its final regular-season dual meet Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Oaks will be at the NAIA Western Regional in Havre, MT on Feb. 21, the first step to qualifying for March 7's national tournament in Topeka, KS.

Menlo's 165-pounder Eric Lopez is ranked fourth in his division, Troy Lakin is third at 125 pounds and Scott Brazil ranks second at heavyweight.

Women's wrestling

Sophomore Cady Chessin leads a group of Menlo wrestlers into this weekend's NWCA national championship, which opens Friday at Missouri Baptist in Marshall, MO.

Chessin has won all but two of her bouts this season, including winning four by technical fall in winning her division at the recently concluded Bearcat Open in Illinois.

Kalin Knight-Alvarez was third in her division at the Bearcat Open and went undefeated in her group at the Menlo tournament.

The Oaks enter competition ranked 13th in the nation. Four wrestlers are among the top 10 in their respective divisions.

Chessin, last year's national runner-up at 127 pounds, is ranked seventh.

Knight-Alvarez, an All-American at Menlo two years ago, placed third at the nationals last year competing for Missouri Baptist. Returning to Menlo this season, she enters the weekend ranked fifth at 116 pounds.

Senior Jessica Marso currently sits at ninth at 109 pounds and sophomore Rachel Chinn is 10th at 155 pounds.

Senior Lauren Richardson and sophomore Bianca Arizpe will also be competing.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Menlo Athletics

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