Riverside, Calif. - Looking to avenge a five set loss at Menlo College and their only Cal Pac loss of the season to this point, the Golden Eagles were anxiously awaiting their opportunity to even the score. And tonight, on Breast Cancer Awareness Night, they did just that by defeating the Oaks in three straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, and 26-24.
In the first set, the Golden Eagles used a few mini runs to build a lead and jump out to the early lead in the match.
La Sierra followed things up with an impressive comeback victory in Set 2. After finding themselves down 13-8, the Golden Eagles chipped away at the Oaks lead, and finally caught them at 19-19. They went on to outscore Menlo 6-2, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Similar to the previous set, the Golden Eagles found themselves trailing 20-15 in Set 3, with the Oaks looking to extend the match and keep their perfect conference record intact, but La Sierra had other plans. They would fight their way back on the shoulders of Lupe Garcia's serve and eventually take the lead. The Oaks weren't about to go quietly, as they were able to fight off the first match point, but Garcia's kill off of the Menlo blockers sealed the victory.
It is the first conference loss of the season for Menlo who is now in second place in the current Cal Pac standings. Should the two teams win out in their remaining regular season conference matches, La Sierra would hold the tie-breaker in the category of head-to-head opponent games/sets won.
Outside hitter Robyn Miller led the Golden Eagles with 12 kills. Lina Semaia and Garcia each added eight kills on the evening. Setter Colleen Stafford directed the offense with 25 assists, including a team-high 12 digs and four kills. Chantel Washington and Ana Flores each contributed 12 digs and 10 digs, respectively.
Menlo was lead by the reigning conference player of the week Courtney Calicdan. Calicdan picked up a match-high 15 kills and 15 digs. Nicole Yap added nine kills of her own.
The win moves the Golden Eagles into first place of the Cal Pac standings with a record of 10-1 (18-7 overall). They will close out a five game home stand on Saturday night with a non-conference match against No. 24 Cal State San Marcos.