Vanguard 3, Menlo College 2
Date of competition: Saturday, September 14, 2019
Last season, when the Menlo College women's volleyball team traveled to Costa Mesa to take on nationally ranked Vanguard, the Oaks did what seemed to be impossible and take a match from Vanguard on their home court. With Vanguard ranked again and the Oaks off to their best start in GSAC play, it almost happened a second year in a row. The Lions were able to claw back from a 2-1 deficit and take the final two sets, beating the Oaks 3-2. With the loss, Menlo falls to 7-5 (3-1) while the Lions improve to 12-2 (3-0).
Almost Déjà vu
It appeared the Oaks were on the precipice of pulling out a match in the Lion's Den. The Oaks led 2-1 and were leading late in the fourth set. A service ace from Pamela Dungo gave the Oaks a late 20-19 lead. The Lions took a timeout, refocused and went on a 6-1 run to close the set, with only a kill from Moea Kekaouha standing as the last point for Menlo. The Lions won the set 25-21 and forced the decisive fifth set, where the Lions jumped to a big 5-1 lead and cruised to a 15-6 set and match win.
Out in Front
Things were looking good for the Oaks after the second set. The Oaks raced to an 8-3 lead with Kristen Whitney serving for the Oaks and Abbey Briggs picking up a kill. It was important since the Oaks dropped the second set by a 25-10 margin. While the Lions managed to pull within one midway through the set, the Oaks began to widen their advantage thanks to some errors and a kill from Lauren Schaefer, making it 21-16 Oaks. A pair of errors at the tail end of the match, with Whitney serving again, helped Menlo secure the third set with a final of 25-21.
Stats Don't Lie (Or do They?)
Saturday's tilt was interesting in that statistically, Vanguard dominated the afternoon, yet still nearly lost. They nearly doubled the amount of kills the Oaks had (63-34) and out-hit the Oaks 16.3% to 2.9%. Errors were relatively similar and the Lions out-dug and out-aced the Oaks. It was Kekauoha who led the way for Menlo with 15 kills and 20 digs while Lucyanna Herrera led the team with 25 digs and two aces (tied with Whitney). Jaden Scott continued to play well at the net with three solo blocks and two more helpers.
Menlo looks to regroup after its first conference loss when it takes on William Jessup University next Saturday in the only match of the week. The road match in Rocklin is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on September 21.
posted by Rick on Sep 14, 2019 at 7:57 pm
Lucyanna Herrera had 25 digs for the Oaks. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.
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