Fullerton, CA - Reminiscent of their first meeting with Hope International, it took five games to determine a winner. The major difference was that the Golden Eagles came out on top in tonight's match-up. La Sierra's first loss of the season came at the hands of the Royals, at the season-opening La Sierra University Tournament, in five games. Tonight's match was a back-and-forth battle, with the Golden Eagles taking advantage of their opportunities to win the match 22-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 15-12.
La Sierra was not only looking to avenge their early season loss to the Royals, but they were also looking to put their loss at Westmont behind them. The Golden Eagles stumbled out of the blocks, losing the first game of the match. They would get on the board and extend the match with wins in Game 2 and Game 4.
The fifth and final game of the match was a depiction of the four preceding games. Neither team held more than a three-point lead during the game. The Royals grabbed the early lead at 5-2, before La Sierra stormed back to tie the score. The score stayed relatively even during the middle of the deciding game, until the Golden Eagles rattled off four straight points to win the game 15-12. La Sierra was able to capitalize on a hitting error by Markisha Richie, which tied the score at 12-12, before kills by Ashley Sanchez and Lina Semaia secured the victory.
Shelby Madigan led La Sierra with 18 kills followed by Semaia who finished with 17 kills. Colleen Stafford had 23 assists and 18 digs in the win. Lupe Garcia found another way to contribute to the team tonight with 10 assists, five kills, and three block assists. Tiana Whitlock also contributed 13 assists. And it was another solid performance turned in by Ashley Sanchez who controlled the net with eight blocks and eight kills on the evening.
With the win, the Golden Eagles improve to 10-4 on the season. They will have another quick turnaround as they travel to Costa Mesa, CA, tomorrow, to compete in the Vanguard University Volleyball Tournament. La Sierra will start the day off with a match at 11:00am against No. 5 Biola University (11-1) followed by a match versus the host school, Vanguard University (7-5), at 3pm. The Lions ended the Golden Eagles 2011 season in the NAIA National Tournament (First Round).After tomorrow's tournament, La Sierra will travel to northern California next week. There, they will play four Cal Pac programs; UC-Merced, William Jessup University, Pacific Union College, and Menlo College. Their next home match is scheduled for Thursday, September 20, when they play host to the University of Redlands.