Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Chaminade University
SAN DIEGO – In a battle of the Pacific West Conference’s final two unbeatens, Round 1 goes to the visitors.
Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/Univ. of San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) and Sasha Colombo (Milan, Italy/Colorado State/Liceo Scientifico Giordano Bruno HS) each put down 12 kills while Brooklen Pe’a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) added 11 as the Chaminade University women’s volleyball team on Friday downed Point Loma, 25-20, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18 at Golden Gymnasium.
The Silverswords improved to 12-6 overall and took over sole possession of first place in the PacWest at 7-0. The victory was their ninth straight, tying for the second longest in program history while also setting a school record by winning their 15th consecutive PacWest match dating back to last season. Chaminade won their third match on the always-daunting Southern California road swing.
Point Loma, which won seven straight entering the evening, fell to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the conference while seeing its six-match home win streak end.
Lataisia Saulala (Morgan Hil, Calif./Oakwood) and Ajack Malual (Trento, Italy/Tambosi ETI) added nine kills each for the ‘Swords.
In the opening set, neither team was able to gain significant separation with no one able to establish more than a two-point lead until Chaminade was able to gain an 11-7 edge. The Sea Lions rallied to take a 16-15 lead but the Silverswords responded with a 5-1 run, forcing Point Loma to burn a timeout. CUH continued its run after the short break with three straight points ending with a Kendall Rios (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) service ace to help them take the first set.
Chaminade’s momentum continued in the second set, jumping out to an 11-4 lead, forcing the Sea Lions to use both their timeouts. Although PLNU’s 4-0 run got them to within 11-8, the ‘Swords countered with a 6-1 run of their own which helped them to convincingly win the second set.
As expected, Point Loma came out defending its home floor in the third set. Torina Hommes and Abigail Nua took over, combining for 10 Set 3 kills to help the Sea Lions force a fourth. Hommes and Nua had five each to hand the ‘Swords just their second conference set loss of the season. Although Chaminade hit .308 in the stanza, Point Loma did better at .333, and out-blocked the ‘Swords, 3-0.
However the loss seemed to motivate Chaminade in Set 4. Tied at 7, the ‘Swords roared on a 13-3 surge to take a 20-10 advantage. Four ‘Swords registered at least one kill in the run while their net defense got two blocks along with a Nanna Inoue (Kula, Maui, Hawai’i/Tyler JC/King Kekaulike HS) service ace.
Malual then got her final kill of the night to set up aloha ball and the Sea Lions committed their 10th service error to end the match.
Colombo accounted for five blocks while Saulala and Sophie Schilling (Berlin, Germany/Alaska/Schul- and Leistungsportszentrum Berlin HS) had four each.
Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/Saint Francis HS), who in the same building last season turned Chaminade’s first triple-double in 25 years, had 24 assists while Alecza Abary (Fontana, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) added 16 more.
Inoue made 24 digs, one shy of her career high, and 11 assists with two aces while Corti tied her season high with 17 digs. Pe’a contributed with 11 digs.
Chaminade hit .297 in the match and held Point Loma, the PacWest’s most efficient hitting team, to a season-low .157. They also out-dug them, 70-to-65 and had an 8-to-5 block advantage.
Nua, whose 4.44 kills per set average entering Friday led the PacWest and ranked 14th in Division II, led the Sea Lions with 13 kills, although it was the freshman’s fewest in a non-three-set match this season. Hommes added 12 kills.
The Silverswords will conclude their road trip Saturday at Azusa Pacific. First serve is set for 2 p.m. Hawai’i time.