Dons win season opener in emphatic shutout

Game 1 Women’s Volleyball- Coach Kunipo-Aguirre gets first win
First year head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre celebrates a point as the Dons dominate their second set.

Santa Ana College women’s volleyball prevailed with a 3-0 sweep in its season debut against Southwestern College on Friday, August 25.

The Dons completely controlled the first two sets, winning by scores of 25-16 and 25-15. Yet, they appeared lethargic and complacent in the last set. Little mistakes such as passing free balls out of the court and not following the ball to the line on serves cost them multiple points in the last set. 

“Our energy died in the third set, which showed in our playing,” said head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre. 

Kunipo-Aguirre wanted to see their energy carried throughout the game with consistency, a valuable lesson to learn in the team’s first game.

The go-to serve specialist was Birrer. Though she made a couple of service errors by hitting them in the net, she also led a couple of vital scoring runs.  They won their third set by a final of 25-23. 

Birrer totalled five kills, eight digs, and three aces.  

“She has a great serve, she’s been working on it a lot in practice,” said Kunipo Aguirre. “When she executes it, we always get a point.”

Outside hitter Karen Salazar led the team with 10 kills, while middle blocker Roxanne Costello was second with nine kills.

Libero Alexis Adams led the team with 10 digs. Setter Taylor Vagana also had five kills, two digs and an assist. 

The victory was significant for the Don’s new head coach, as it marks her milestone first win. A former assistant coach and player for the Dons, Kunipo-Aguirre knows the program inside out.

Prior to the season debut, she emphasized in an interview her desire to build a foundation of hard work, focus, and productive attitude.

Despite the added pressure that the previous season places on them, the team hardly seemed bothered. 

The Dons play next at Cerritos College on Wednesday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m.

“We’re all willing to work hard,” said Birrer. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, I think we’ll do great.” 

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