ATHERTON, Calif. – It was game six of the Oaks' eight game home stand as they welcomed the Cal Pac's Pacific Union Pioneers to Haynes-Prim Pavilion for a Tuesday evening clash. The Oaks entered the game 27-4 lifetime against the Pioneers and thanks to a strong rebound after a rocky first set and the strong play from Maggie McDonald, the Oaks made it 28-4 in the all-time record with a 3-1 victory (23-25,25-18,25-19,25-17). McDonald would finish the impressive match with a career-best 25 kills on .423 hitting to go along with a pair of aces, 12 digs and two block assists.
It got off to a fast start in the first set as Menlo jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but it wouldn't hold for long as the Pioneers battled back in what was a sloppy, disjointed opening set. After the Oaks had the 4-1 lead, PUC put together a 16-4 run to take a 17-10 lead, their largest of the match. Despite the lopsided run, Menlo continued to claw back and forced six consecutive set points and nearly worked its way back into the game but ultimately fell 25-23.
That would be the last set they would drop in the match as some solid defense, great setting from Monica Hruby and a stellar effort from outside hitter Maggie McDonald turned the tide for good. The momentum from the end of the first set carried over into the start of the second in a big way as Menlo mounted a dominating 9-1 run to set the tone for the game and the rest of the match. The Pioneers would get with four points at 14-10, but that would be as close as they'd get as Menlo hit .400 as a team in the set compared to just .105 for Pacific Union and earned a 25-18 victory.
The third set was not quite as efficient from a hitting percentage for the Oaks (.171), but it was equally successful on the scoreboard with an eventual 25-19 win. In the fourth set, it was all Menlo from the get go as they hit .257 as a squad and earned the most lopsided win of the game, 25-17.
Four different Oaks finished action with double-digits in kills. Following McDonald's 25 was Emily Sunada, Sofia Salim-Ponce, and Sierra Buscher who each had 10. Bailey Gamez tacked on six of her won. Monica Hruby handled the setting duties for the entire contest and posted a 50-assist effort. The Oaks were solid from the service line with eight total aces, with Sunada, McDonald and Hruby each tallying two. As a team, Menlo outhit the Pioneers .283 to .103.
Next up, the Oaks will play host to NCAA Div. II Hawaii-Hilo tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion. They then open conference play at home on Saturday against William Jessup.