Menlo vs. Montana State – Northern (25-17, 25-21, 25-16)
In the opener of day two for Menlo College, they seemed to be acclimated to the heat that was ravaging through the area. Both teams traded blows early in a fairly even match early on, with Menlo holding a slim 13-12 lead at the midway point of the match. With Hannah Hudson and Jade Rockwood back to serve, the Oaks rattled off a run that put the match away. The two combined to help serve on a rally that saw the Oaks score nine of the next ten points. Rockwood recorded two aces during the stretch, Sierra Buscher laid down three kills, and Ka'imilani Deponte-Merideth finished it off with a kill of her own. Moea Kekauoha wrapped up the match with a kill for the final point, and the Oaks ran away with the opening set 25-17.
The Oaks opened the second set where they left off in the first set, scoring the first five points with Monica Hruby serving. After the sides traded points to get the match to a 9-5 score, Menlo scored six more points in a row, featuring a Buscher ace, two kills from Kekauoha, and one more from Emily Sunada. The 15-5 lead was as large as it would get for Menlo in the set, eventually settling in for a comfortable 4-6 point lead for a majority of the match, closing it off with a 25-21 win. Bailey Gamez came up big down the stretch with a couple of kills as well, part of a nine-kill effort from her on the match.
Things were a lot closer in the final set, with the Oaks saving that big run for the finish. Three of the first four points of the match came from Maggie McDonald kills, but the Oaks and Skylights were trading points, with neither side able to gain an edge over the other. The Skylights actually took the lead 13-12 with a kill from Cassie Krueger, but it would be their last lead on the day. With Menlo up 18-16 and Montana State Northern having gotten two straight points, Menlo slammed the door. The Oaks scored the final seven points of the match, all with Buscher back to serve. The three sophomores from Iolani School all teamed up for kills, with Buscher, Sunada, and Kekauoha putting the finishing touches on a 25-16 win and a straight sweep for the Oaks.
Menlo vs. Rocky Mountain College (18-25,18-25,12-25)
In its fourth and final match of the 2017 Menlo College Volleyball tournament, the Oaks took on Rocky Mountain College and were defeated in straight sets, 18-25, 18-25, 12-25. Rocky Mountain improved to 9-3 on the season while the Oaks fell to 7-3 on the young campaign. Menlo finished tournament action 2-2 while Rocky Mountain finished at 3-1.
It all got started on the wrong foot for the Oaks in the 18th and final match of the tournament inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion. Rocky Mountain came out of the gates swinging hard and accurately and amassed an 8-1 run before Denise Sheldon and the Oaks called time out. From that point, Menlo put together a 12-8 run to claw back into the action and get within three points at 16-13, but that would be as close as they'd get for the duration, falling 18-25 in the first set.
The second set saw a much more competitive start to the action as both teams traded points through the first 21 with Rocky Mountain holding the edge at 11-10. They continued to defend attack after attack from the Oaks and created a plethora of back and forth rallies that often went in the RMC direction. Libero Holland Fergurson was a big part of that defensive success as she led all players with a match-high 22 digs against the Oaks.
The third and final set was the most lopsided of the three with the Bears handily defeating the Oaks 25-15 to conclude action in the tournament and start their voyage back to Billings, Montana.
Menlo struggled on the attack all match long, hitting just .131 as a team, but a major bright spot was the play of sophomore middle blocker Emily Sunada who led all Oaks with nine kills on 17 swings. Close behind were the duo of Maggie McDonald and Sofia Salim who each had seven kills to their credit. Senior Bailey Gamez chipped in five. Monica Hruby handled all of the setting duties in the match, dishing out 26 assists. Hannah Hudson led the way defensively with 11 digs.
The Oaks have a busy week on tap as they host Pacific Union on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and University of Hawaii-Hilo on Wednesday, also at 6 p.m. They break into conference play on Saturday at 2 p.m. against William Jessup.