Westmont 3, Menlo College 2
Date of competition: Friday, October 4, 2019
The theme of the last few years for the Menlo College women's volleyball team has been resiliency and toughness with their backs against the wall. No matter the opponent, the Oaks are not out of a match until one team has won three sets. That mantra was on display again Friday night as Menlo squared off against No. 17 Westmont College in Golden State Athletic Conference action. In their toughest match of the season, the Oaks fell behind but nearly pulled off an incredible comeback, ultimately dropping the match in five sets. With the win, Westmont sits at 16-3 (7-1) while the Oaks fall to 10-6 (6-2).
Comeback Kids … Almost
Menlo has done this before, and they almost pulled it off again. After dropping the first two sets against Westmont, Menlo responded well by taking the third set 25-21. The Oaks then won the fourth set, thanks to a pair of kills from Kristen Whitney down the stretch that made it 24-19. The Warriors responded with three points, forcing the Oaks to call timeout. Afterward, Jaden Scott capped it off with a hammer and the Oaks went to a fifth set. Unfortunately, a 5-0 hole early was too much for Menlo, which lost 15-11.
While defining a 'dig' seems to be arbitrary, its rare for an individual to put up 30 or more digs in a match, and it's even harder to find two players on the same team doing it in the same match. Lucyanna Herrera and Moea Kekauoha both provided a rarity, each with over 30 digs to set career highs. Herrera tallied 37 and Kekauoha, the Oaks kills leader at 12, added 31 more. As a team, the Oaks managed a season-high 111 digs.
That's How You Hang
Westmont has a strong set of middle blockers. The key to hanging with Westmont is to play well at the net and that's what the Oaks did. Menlo recorded two solo blocks and a total of a seaon-best 20 block assists. Menlo leads the conference in solo blocks. Four others contributed at least three assisted blocks vs. Westmont: Scott (3), Whitney (4), Kekauoha (5), and Abbey Briggs (5).
Worth A Mention
Menlo has not beaten Westmont in 15 tries, dating to 2012. The Oaks have, however, taken a set from the Warriors in each of the last six matches, and the two teams have now gone to five sets in their last two matches, with the Warriors nationally ranked.
Menlo has a quick turnaround, as they head to Santa Clarita to take on The Master's University on Saturday, with first serve set for 1 p.m.
posted by Menlo Athletics on Oct 5, 2019 at 2:37 am
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