Play of the Day: Courtney Calicdan's match ending kill seals the deal on a Menlo win.
The Lady Oaks wrapped up their third straight victory, Friday evening, roaring back from a 1-0 set deficit to capture the match in four sets over the Red Hawks of Simpson University (2-10). The 16-25, 25-14, 25-16, 25-17 win pushes Menlo's season record back to an even 6-6, while the Lady Oaks are now 2-0 in the California Pacific Conference.
"It was one of those going back to the drawing board kind of matches," said Menlo's Courtney Calicdan, match leader with 16 kills, on the Oaks come from behind victory. "We just decided to shake the first game off. There were some early jitters, which our team has a tendency to have, but we knew we had to just go back to the basics."
Menlo kicked off their conference opener in a heap of trouble, after staring out the first game in an 11-4 hole. Simpson received strong early play from sophomore Jessica Lombardi, who racked up three early kills before finishing with a team high 13. The Oaks were never able to get back into it in dropping game one 25-16.
Menlo would respond in big time fashion to the early adversity, rolling off three straight set victories by dominating finals of 25-14, 25-16, and 25-17. Each of the final three games were close early, before the Lady Oaks kicked it into another gear to seize their second straight match in which they trailed one game to none (Sep. 22 at UC Santa Cruz).
"I would have loved to come out and take the first set, but I knew we could play better," said Menlo third year Head Coach Daniel Rasay. "We just needed to focus more on what are strengths are, and that's passing and serving. When we pass well we can run our offense, and when we serve well it gets them out of theirs. After we did that we starting rolling on offense, and challenging them on defense."
Aside from Calicdan's impressive 16 kills, the Oaks received stellar showings from junior Nicole Yap and senior Camille Miller. Yap tallied 14 kills behind a remarkable .375 successful attack percentage, while Miller chipped in with ten kills and a .333 successful attack clip. Senior Angie Laresn led the team with 30 kills, second behind Simpson's Kelly Tycksen's 35 for the match high, and fellow senior Mika Mendoza rolled off a match leading 27 digs.
Menlo will be right back in action in less than 24 hours, as the Lady Oaks travel to Pacific Union to clash with the Pioneers on Saturday, September 29th. Match time is slated for 8:00pm.