Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
IRVINE, Calif. – The Chaminade University women’s volleyball continued their all-important Southern California road trip Wednesday by sweeping past Concordia University Irvine, 25-18, 25-14, 25-19 at CU Arena.
Graduate transfer Sasha Colombo (Milan, Italy/Colorado State/Liceo Scientifico Giordano Bruno HS), just two days removed from her 18-kill and .643 hitting performance at Biola, continued to wreak havoc on opposing blockers by putting down a match-high 14 kills while hitting .370 to help the Silverswords win their eighth straight match.
Chaminade improved to 11-6 on the year and 6-0 in the Pacific West Conference. The ‘Swords have won 18 of their 19 sets in the PacWest this season and taken 24 of their last 25 dating back to Sept. 3.
Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/Univ. of San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) added eight kills and 13 digs for the ‘Swords. Lataisia Saulala (Morgan Hil, Calif./Oakwood) and Brooklen Pe’a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) each had five kills as setter Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/Saint Francis HS) continued to share the wealth among the team’s hitters. Every player who registered a kill had at least three while Byrnes had two kills herself, in addition to nine digs and 19 assists.
Pe’a, meanwhile, also had six service aces which tied her career high while she and Saulala had three total blocks each. Nanna Inoue (Kula, Maui, Hawai’i/Tyler JC/King Kekaulike HS) led with 16 digs.
Cassie Prior lead CUI (7-7, 4-3 PacWest) with 11 kills.
Historically, the ‘Swords have never fared well at CU Arena. Until last season’s win, they had lost all five previous matchups in the building. And early on, it appeared that those troubles had returned as they trailed 12-5. However, like she did at Biola, Colombo helped Chaminade get right back into the match with five consecutive serves including two aces with the help of Pe’a’s two kills and a block which helped close the gap to 12-11.
Down 15-13, Corti put down a pair of kills then Byrnes got one of her own to put Chaminade in front. The ‘Swords later owned a 20-18 edge before going on a 5-0 run to take a one-set lead.
The Silverswords surrendered a natural point early in Set 2. But by the time the Eagles got their second, Chaminade had already bolted out to a 15-11 advantage. A 6-0 later in the set would propel them to a 2-0 lead.
With CUI playing with a sense of desperation, the Eagles managed to build an 11-9 lead but CUH scored 10 of the next 13 points to take a 19-14 lead with Colombo accounting for four points during the stretch. Concordia closed to within 19-17 but Pe’a had a kill and ace to extend the lead to four. Ajack Malual (Trento, Italy/Tambosi ETI), Corti and finally Pe’a again each had successful spikes to finish the match in three.
Chaminade finished the match hitting .230 while holding CUI to .122. The ‘Swords also had 12 aces to only three for the Eagles and also out-blocked them, 6-to-2.
The win now sets up a Friday showdown in San Diego when the Silverswords meet the PacWest’s other 6-0 squad in Point Loma at Golden Gym. First serve is set for 3 p.m. Hawai’i time.