A week after running the table to the tune of a 3-0 mark at the Holiday Inn Express Invitational, the Lady Oaks were stifled in the 23rd Annual ASICS/Wyndham Hotel Labor Day Classic hosted by Concordia University. Menlo dropped both tilts in straight sets, falling to 24th ranked Westmont, before going down to San Diego Christian.
The opening clash against a tough Westmont squad, which now improves to 7-1 on the year, ended in set finals of 25-17, 25-15, and 25-18. The Warriors took care of the first set behind a late charge that saw Westmont turn an 18-13 advantage into a 24-14 lead, winning six of seven points. The Lady Oaks attempt at a thrilling comeback ultimately turned into a situation of too little too late, as Menlo rolled off three straight points thanks a Nicole Yap kill, and two Madison Serrano attack errors, but the early hole was too big to climb out of. The Warriors closed out the first set with a Serrano kill, finishing things off at the aforementioned 25-17 mark.
Yap would go on to lead Menlo in total kills for the match with ten, tied with Westmont's Ciara Turner, although Turner made just two attack errors as oppose to ten by Yap. Senior Stephenie Monderine finished second on the Oaks with nine kills.
The second set played out similar to the first one, with a back and forth clash early, before a late Westmont run sealed Menlo's fate. A Yap kill brought Menlo within 10-8, but the Warriors racked off the next eight points to take a commanding 18-8 advantage. Westmont was aided by a slew of Lady Oaks miscues, as the eight point stretch featured six Menlo attack errors.
The Oaks found themselves close again in the final set with the score knotted up at 12-12, but the Warriors picked up the next six points to take an 18-12 lead. Credit Menlo who did not go quietly with four straight to bring the score to 18-16, but the Warriors went on a 7-2 run to slam the door on any comeback chances.
The day's second match saw the Oaks eclipse the 20-point plateau in a set for the first time throughout the tournament, but the squad still dropped three in a row to San Diego Christian by finals of 25-20, 25-16, and 25-19. Monderine and sophomore outside hitter Courtney Calicdan accounted for seven kills each, while fellow sophomore Emma Oehler led the bunch with 16 total assists. Senior Mika Mendoza led all players on the court with 17 digs for the match.
The opening set presented Menlo with a late 18-15 lead after the Oaks won four of five. The advantage would prove to be short lived however, as four Menlo attack errors and five Hawks kills propelled San Diego Christian to a 25-20 first set "W."
The Hawks received stellar play from senior Rachel Allen, junior Aja Walker, and freshman Juliana Gutknecht. Allen led the squad with a match high nine kills, while Walker compiled a strong .333 attack percentage, and Gutknecht showed off with eight kills of her own.
San Diego Christian's first set comeback seemed to play a factor in the second set, as Menlo was never really in the game. The Oaks never led throughout the duration of the set, and the Hawks set the tone early after turning a 4-4 affair into a 13-5 advantage.
The final set appeared as if it would go down to the wire with the count reading 15-14 in favor of the Hawks, but San Diego Christian turned on the afterburners in racking off five of the next six points to put some breathing room away from Menlo. Down 22-16, the Lady Oaks benefited from two Hawks attack errors and a Courtney Calicdan kill, but in the end it wouldn't be enough as San Diego Christian took the set 25-19 in closing out the match.
With the two defeats, Menlo's record falls to 3-2. The Lady Oaks will have a chance to digest the tournament with the next match not slated until Friday September 7th, as Menlo will travel to Arizona Christian. All the action is set to get underway at 4:00pm.