Riverside, CA - With temperatures soaring outside, the Golden Eagles women's volleyball team turned up the heat inside by winning their first two matches of the 2012 campaign. Serving as the tournament host, the Golden Eagles defeated the Bulldogs from the University of Montana-Western, in their opening match, 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-22). In the final match of the evening, the Golden Eagles battle their way to a 3-1 win over San Diego Christian, 21-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-22.
Senior outside hitter, Shelby Madigan, led the Golden Eagles in kills with 11, to go along with eight digs, five aces, and one block. Madigan had help from teammate Lina Semaia, a sophomore outside hitter, who finished with eight kills. Junior transfer Lupe Garcia also pitched in with six kills on a fifty-five percent hitting percentage. Garcia also added seven aces, four assists, and two digs. Junior setter, Colleen Stafford finished with 18 assists, seven digs, three kills, and three aces. Ana Flores led the team with nine total digs. As a team, the Golden Eagles finished the match with 16 aces, versus only three for the Bulldogs.
In the loss, the Bulldgos had two players, Emily Erickson and Charelle Minor, with four kills apiece. Setter Paige Latimer finished with 14 assists and the libero Shelby Mack had a game-high 19 digs. The Bulldogs defeated San Diego Christian in their second match of the day, to finish the day with a 1-1 record to start the season.
In their second match of the day, the Golden Eagles had difficulty finding their rhythm, but were still able defeat the Hawks of San Diego Christian College, 3-1 (21-25, 25-13, 25-23, 25-22). The Hawks, playing the second match of a back-to-back, immediately grabbed the momentum with a victory in the first game. But the Golden Eagles bounced back with a convincing second game. Games 3 and 4 were back and forth battles that La Sierra was able to finish off.
Similar to the first match of the day, it was the two veterans who helped push the Golden Eagles over the finish line. Senior outside hitter Shelby Madigan finished with 15 kills, 12 digs, and two blocks. Sophomore Lina Semaia was close behind with 13 kills. Stafford had a match high 36 assists to go along with five digs, three kills, and 2 blocks. Flores pitched in 11 digs for the Golden Eagles.
The Hawks finished the match with two players, junior outside hitter Aja Walker and freshmen Lauren Phillips, with nine kills apiece. Sophomore setter Cassidy Mertens pitched in with 30 assists and libero Jelisa Navarette led all players with 17 digs. It was the third match of the day for the Hawks, who start the season at 0-3.
"I thought we played good today, but there's always room to do better and become stronger, and improve our all-around game," said head coach Erin Conley. "When we are given an opportunity, during a game, we must use it to our advantage. I felt at times we were given that opportunity and we did not fulfill it."
With the win, the Golden Eagles start the season off with a record of 2-0. But they won't have time much time to dwell on it, as they hit the court in the first match of the day, tomorrow morning at 10am. "I told the team that this tournament will be a place for us to measure ourselves at the start of the season...and see where we need to improve," added Conley. The Golden Eagles will take on Hope International University, who lost their only match of the day to California State University - San Marcos (3-0). La Sierra will also play in the final match of the day, against San Marcos, at approximately 5:30pm.
La Sierra University Women's Volleyball Tournament
Wednesday, August 15
CSU San Marcos def. San Diego Christian, 3-0
La Sierra def. University of Montana-Western, 3-0
CSU San Marcos def. Hope International, 3-0
University of Montana-Western def. San Diego Christian, 3-0
La Sierra def. San Diego Chrisitan, 3-1
Thursday, August 16
10:00am - La Sierra vs Hope International
12:30pm - CSU San Marcos vs University of Montana-Western
3:00pm - Hope International vs University of Montana-Western
5:30pm - La Sierra vs CSU San Marcos