Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
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The Chaminade University women’s volleyball team ended their first mainland road trip of the season Saturday by taking both matches via sweeps in split venues.
The Silverswords staved off a feisty Seattle Pacific squad in their final match in the Cal State Los Angeles Invitational with a 25-22, 25-17, 27-25 victory in the afternoon.
After making the 40-minute drive on the I-710 freeway south to Carson, California, the ‘Swords dispatched Cal State Dominguez Hills in a standalone match, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21, giving them consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Chaminade got a balanced attack throughout the day with Brooklen Pe’a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) putting down a total of 15 kills while freshman Ajack Malual (Trento, Italy/Tambosi ETI) continued to impress in her first weekend in a Chaminade uniform with 14 total kills.
Needing just seven total blocks to establish history, Lataisia Saulala (Morgan Hill, Calif./Oakwood) pushed back 10 opponent attacks to become the school’s all-time leader in total blocks with 304, breaking the record of 300 previously held by Reigna Johnson.
The Silverswords improved to 5-6 on the season although their record is somewhat deceiving because of perhaps the toughest non-conference schedule in the West Region. Eight of their 10 opponents in the non-conference this season have winning records with six having five or more wins. The combined winning percentage of Chaminade’s 10 opponents is .651 (55-28).
CUH 3, SPU 0
LOS ANGELES – In a highly entertaining and even matchup, Chaminade rallied from a 17-14 first-set deficit, taking a 21-18 lead, thanks in part to four Seattle Pacific errors and three Sasha Colombo (Milan, Italy/Colorado State/Liceo Scientifico Giordano Bruno HS) points, two of which came at the service line.
An 8-1 run to end the second frame set up a dramatic third set. After spotting the Falcons the first five points of the third, Chaminade ran off the next six with Saulala putting down two kills during the run. SPU then had two chances to force a fourth set (24-23 and 25-24) but the ‘Swords staved them off both times.
A Falcons ball-handling error tied the set at 25 which was followed by Pe’a’s sixth kill of the match to give Chaminade aloha ball. A hitting error at 26-25 ended the match, giving the Silverswords their first win via sweep this season.
Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/Univ. of San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) paced Chaminde with 11 kills while Malual added seven. Saulala had six blocks on the match to tie Johnson’s total blocks mark. Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/Saint Francis HS) had 18 assists while Nanna Inoue (Kula, Maui, Hawai’i/Tyler College/King Kekaulike HS) had 10 digs.
Chaminade hit .210 on the match and held the Falcons to .163. The ‘Swords recorded seven aces with Corti and Colombo getting three each.
Seattle Pacific (2-6) was led by Maddie Pruden’s eight kills.
CUH 3, CSUDH 0
CARSON, Calif. – It was a rare meeting between the two West Region squads with just four previous contests and having last faced each other in August 2004.
Early on, the Toros jumped early, taking a 9-4 lead. But the ‘Swords went on a massive tsunami-like surge with Byrnes starting the rally by putting down a kill, followed by an ace. On the next serve, Saulala made history, teaming with Malual by pushing back Cassie Taylor’s spike to record career block No. 301 and take over as Chaminade’s all-time blocks leader.
The fun continued for the ‘Swords, getting point after point. In all, it was a 13-1 run to put the match clearly in their favor.
Set 2 was again all Chaminade, going up 14-5, which eventually put them up by two sets.
CSUDH seemed to have solved their problems in the third set, taking leads of 9-4, 13-9 and 15-12. But CUH continued to chip away and, with the score knotted at 17, forced a Toros hitting error to take an 18-17 edge. Pe’a put down three consecutive kills, followed by two from Sophie Schilling (Berlin, Germany/Univ. of Alaska/Schul- and Leistungssportzentrum Berlin HS). Corti and Colombo then teamed on a block to set up aloha ball where the Toros hit wide to end the match.
In a balanced attack, Pe’a had nine kills for Chaminade while Saulala and Malual had seven each. Corti chipped in with six and added three more aces. Byrnes had 23 assists and 10 digs while Inoue and Corti had 13 digs apiece. Malual also had a team-high five blocks.
Chaminade hit .184 but held CSU Dominguez Hills to just .018 on the evening. The ‘Swords also surrendered just three aces.
The Silverswords now turn their attention to defending their Pacific West Conference title which begins Thursday against longtime in-city rival Hawai’i Pacific University at the HPU Shark Tank. First serve is set for 7 p.m.