Women’s volleyball swept twice in quad tournament

Volleyball for Web 9:8:23
(Left to right) Jenna Hoppe, Karen Salazar, Alexis Adams, Taylor Vagana, and Camille Birrer gather in support after conceding a point in the third set. Photo by Nicholas Wire / el Don

Santa Ana College women’s volleyball had a rough day on Friday, Sept. 8, losing two games, both via sweep. 

SAC invited three schools for their annual quad tournament; Long Beach City, Bakersfield, and Palomar.

The Dons first lost 3-0 to 16th-ranked Long Beach City College, then followed it up with a 3-0 loss to 14th-ranked Bakersfield Community College. 

However, SAC could take away some positives from their disappointing day. Against Bakersfield, all three sets were close. 

For a team that recently assembled, along with a rookie head coach, they proved that they can hang around with strong opponents.

“Today helped us tremendously. Even though we had two losses, that was a valuable experience. We played two teams that have a history of doing well…I’m very happy we were able to get that [experience] today,” said head coach Myriah Kunipo-Aguirre.

In the first set, the Dons fell to a 10-3 deficit, in which they climbed back and brought the game within two points before allowing another run. Though they lost 25-19, they carried their momentum with them into the second set.

After a back-and-forth rally in the second, Santa Ana found themselves up 24-23 with game point on the line. Bakersfield scored the following three points and won 26-24.

“Being able to dig deep and finish out these games,” said Kunipo-Aguirre. “I was trained as a libero. I am all about defense. I’ve been continuing [to emphasize] in practice: serving and passing. That’s what will keep us in the game.”

A problematic theme throughout the game and during their late collapse was a lack of communication. This hurt their timing, which left them vulnerable to the powerful outside hitters from Bakersfield.

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Their last set, once again, got away from them late. They lost 25-22 and were swept off their home court.

The Dons, 2-4, now look ahead to Wednesday, Sept. 13 against the 1-6 Palomar Comets. Palomar also went 0-2 in the tournament.

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