Menlo 3, Arizona Christian 1
Date of competition: Friday, November 9, 2018
Menlo College successfully opened the Golden State Athletic Conference women's volleyball playoffs Friday night in Fullerton, beating Arizona Christian University, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15, 25-21, in the quarterfinals. It's the second consecutive year the Oaks (15-8) have won the opener, the first Menlo playoff wins in the GSAC in program history.
After the presentation of the All-GSAC awards to Maggie McDonald and Sofia Salim, both contributed to the first set victory. Out of 51 total attack attempts, McDonald and Salim took 29 of those in the first set, leading to eight kills. For the night, the duo led the way with impressive performances, including a career-best 21 kills from Salim and 19 from McDonald.
The match shifted after the Oaks dropped the second set, but it really started to swing during that set. Menlo trailed 15-8 before head coach Denise Sheldon, a Sacred Heart Prep alum, called a timeout and Menlo eventually got back to within two points before dropping the set 25-21. They made good on their final two sets. In impressive fashion, the Oaks made four attack errors in the final two sets, while picking up 14 and 19 kills. The third set was particularly momentous, with the Oaks winning 25-15 and attacking at 30 percent and then improving to 32 percent in the fourth set.
Defense Wins Matches
The Oaks have been strong defensively all year, ranking near the top of the NAIA in digs per set. They picked up 98 on Friday night, with four players in double-figures, including 33 from Lucyanna Herrera, who was all over the back line for the Oaks. Moea Kekauoha and Pamela Dungo each had 13 (while Herrera tallied 54 assists) and Sierra Buscher dug out 12. Long rallies were the story of the evening, and the Oaks won a majority.
Menlo reaches the semifinals for the second time in as many seasons. This year they face the team they knocked out in the opening round last year: No. 13 The Master's University. These teams met on Menlo's senior night, and Menlo picked up a surprising sweep at home. First serve is set for 11 am, and the championship game is scheduled for 7 pm against the winner of Vanguard and Westmont.
-- Menlo Athletics
posted by Rick Eymer on Nov 10, 2018 at 12:44 am
Sofia Salim recorded a career-best 21 kills. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.
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