ATHERTON, Calif. – Wednesday night marked the home opener for Menlo College Women's Volleyball, and they looked to continue their hot start to the season against a familiar foe. Just one week ago, the Oaks dueled against the UC Merced Bobcats and got the better of their in-state rivals in a five-set win. It was much more decisive at home for the Oaks, feeding off the energy inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion to earn a three-set sweep of the Bobcats. The Oaks are now 5-1 on the young season, an impressive start, while the Bobcats are winless at 0-7.
Things got started in a very familiar fashion for these two teams, with the opening set featuring a myriad of back-and-forth action that produced a tight score. Neither team was able to create an advantage as the set crept closer and closer towards what could be bonus volleyball. The Oaks were able to take the opening set 25-23 and escape with an opening set win in what was clearly the most competitive set of the night. Things were going right for Menlo in that set, but the same could be said for both sides, each with hitting percentages over 20%.
Menlo ran away with things in the final two sets, putting the Bobcats to sleep with some commanding leads. Menlo racked up 14 kills in the second set and held the Bobcats to a 2.4% hitting percentage en route to a 25-16 Menlo set win. Things did not get any better for the Bobcats in the third and final set, where the Oaks used a timeout midway through the set to their advantage. With the Oaks leading 15-13 out of a timeout, and Hannah Hudson back to serve, the Oaks were able to close out the match on a ten-point run. Hudson recorded multiple aces over the span, Maggie McDonald joined in on the fun with some wicked kills, and the Oaks wrapped it up in the final set by a score of 25-13.
Several individuals stood out on the floor for Menlo, led by the efforts of three individuals: Hudson, McDonald, and Monica Hruby. Hudson recorded four service aces on the night to go along with eight digs. McDonald led all Oaks with 13 kills, the only Menlo player to record double-digit on the night. Hruby had one of her best nights of the young campaign, tying for a team-best five aces on this night, with 24 assists, and five digs. Several Oaks recorded kills on the night, with Kenzie Carpenter tallying six, and Sierra Buscher recording five with five aces of her own. As a team, the Oaks laid down 17 service aces against the Bobcats. Moea Kekauoha led the team with 15 digs while Emily Sunada played a part in four total blocks, the most on the night for the Blue and White.
It will be a very busy weekend at Menlo College upcoming, highlighted by the Menlo Volleyball Tournament, the first hosted in Atherton since 2013. Nine matches are on tap on both Friday and Saturday, with nine different schools getting in on the action. Menlo will play four times during the tournament, twice each day. Tournament play for Menlo begins on Friday at 1:00 PM against the University of Providence and then again at 7:00 PM against Providence Christian. Three other GSAC schools will be joining in on the fun, with Westmont, San Diego Christian, and William Jessup all making the trip. Live streaming will not be available, but full coverage can be found on the Menlo Tournament webpage.