|Mendocino College | Volleyball
EAGLES TAKE TWO ON THE ROAD
After splitting conference matches the week before, the Mendocino College Volleyball team nabbed road victories on two consecutive nights this week.
On Tuesday, the Eagles traveled to Eureka to a non-conference match against College of the Redwoods. The two teams had met very early in the season, with Mendocino winning a five-set thriller at home. The previous victory was of little solace to Eagles’ head coach, Ori Polkinghorne, who noted, “We are a vastly improved team and I just assume that they (Redwoods) have gotten a lot better since we saw them last.”
In the first set, Mendocino made use of its secret weapon of sorts, setter Maille McCallister, who did not play in the first meeting of the two teams. McCallister promptly fired the first eight points of the game from the service line, stunning the host Corsairs. The Eagles were able to maintain no less than a seven point lead the entire set and cruised to a 25-18 win.
It was way too much Mendocino for Redwoods in the second set. The Eagles went up 10-4 as McCallister (Fr. Kelseyville High) connected with her big hitters Shana Hiatt (So. Clear Lake High) and Meghan Metcalf (So. Ukiah High). Mendocino kept the Corsair defense scrambling as they broke open the game 17-5 on their way to a 25-9 pounding.
Mendocino had to fight for their third set win. The Corsairs’ defense stiffened up and they also managed to find holes on the Mendocino side, tying the set at seven apiece. Redwoods found the momentum and went up 16-12. After a time out, the Eagles scrapped back to an 18-18 tie. From then on the lead changed hands several times before Danielle Cervelli (Fr. Ukiah High) passed a perfect ball to McCallister who found Hiatt for a straight-down kill to go up 24-23. McCallister finished things off on the next play, serving one of her eight aces for match point.
Polkinghorne was impressed with what he saw from his team, “Great team effort tonight. We had to dig deep to pull out that third set. Maille played her best match of the year and Danielle has been remarkable in her improvement and contribution to the team.”
On Wednesday night, the Eagles headed south to take on Bay Valley Conference opponent Laney College of Oakland. Mendocino kept the momentum from the previous night’s win and stormed the host team, beating Laney in three straight—25-22, 25-11, 25-19.
The Eagles were paced by their dynamic duo Metcalf and Hiatt, who recorded ten and nine kills respectively. But it was the contribution of a few other players who caught the eye of Coach Polkinghorne. Roberta Norris (Fr. Ukiah High) who had been filling a vital role as a defensive specialist took on left-side hitting duties for Mendocino. “The ‘Bob-cat’ (Norris) was huge for us tonight, she had four kills and a bunch of digs” .
Polkinghorne also mentioned the play of freshman middle hitter, Jocelyn Hale (Geyserville High). “ Jocelyn is kind of the unsung hero on our team. She doesn’t get big numbers, but she is asked to shut down the other teams’ best hitters each match. Her improvement has been off the chart.” Hale, in her typical yeoman’s effort notched two kills, five digs, one block and three aces.
The Eagles improved their record to 3-3 in BVC competition and 7-7 overall. They will take on Napa Valley at home this week and go on the road against College of Alameda.
HIATT POWERS EAGLES PAST MARIN
The Mendocino College team defeated visiting College of Marin in Bay Valley Conference volleyball action, 3-1.
The Eagles were able to hit over .200 as a team and serve a collective 16 aces, on their way to beating Marin for the second time this season. Their first victory over Marin was a five-set thriller two weeks ago.
Mendocino went on an early rampage in the first set, leading 12-4 after a quick attack from Maille McCallister (setter, Kelseyville High) to Savannah Harrison (Fr., Clear Lake High). Marin was not able to encroach much on the Mendocino lead, as timely serving by Eagles’ defensive specialist, Roberta Norris (Fr. Ukiah High) powered her team to a 25-15 win.
The second set was a battle that went back and forth with many lead changes. The Eagles stayed close behind 19-21 when Marin made a final push with a couple key kills to win the game 25-22.
The Eagles fought to a 13-8 lead with solid net play from Meghan Metcalf (Soph. Ukiah High) and middle hitter Shana Hiatt (Soph. Clear Lake High). Marin, however roared back to tie the game at 14. Harrison’s serves moved Mendocino back into the lead 19-15. The Eagles posted the win 25-20.
Mendocino came out in the fourth set trying to finish the match, but the visiting Mariners pushed to leads of 7-3, 12-8, and 18-13. That is when Hiatt took the game over with a rare display of serving prowess. The 5’11” Hiatt stood back at the service line and fired 14 straight points against a befuddled Marin defense. By the time she was finished, Hiatt had amassed six aces and effectively put the set and match out of the Mariners’ reach. Mendocino won 25-18.
Hiatt added 14 kills and six digs to match her serving stats. Meghan Metcalf had a tremendous night at the net putting down 17 kills and scoring six points on blocks. Libero Courtney Schnitzius dug up 15 attacks on defense for the Eagles, who evened their BVC record to 1-1
EAGLES DO BATTLE ON THE ROAD
The Mendocino College Volleyball team wrapped up its longest road trip of the season, winning one match and losing two. Thursday, the Eagles traveled to Sacramento for the American River College Classic, where they took on the host ARC Beavers and Lassen College.
The Eagles came out strong against Lassen, showing their ability to score from the net and the service line. Mendocino took an early lead and never looked back. Left-side hitter, Leti Segura (Fr. Ft Bragg High) served seven straight points to secure the win 25-9. But the rest of the match was not as easy. Mendocino’s hitting errors, coupled with Lassen’s improved play extended the match to four sets. In the end, however, the Eagles were able to put a mark in the win column going 25-20, 20-25, and 25-23. Eagles’ middle hitter Shana Hiatt (Soph. Clear Lake High) led all players offensively, pounding out 18 kills. Setter Maille McCallister (Fr. Kelseyville High) dished out 25 assists and served four aces.
In their second match of the day, Mendocino faced a tough squad from American River. Although the Eagles hung tough through the middle of each set, ARC was able to push ahead to a three-game sweep, 25-15, 25-15, 25-12. Libero Courtney Schnitzius (FR. Willits High) recorded 10 key digs for Mendocino. Danielle Cervelli (Fr. Ukiah High), who filled in nicely on the road trip for injured left-side hitter Savannah Harrison, scored two kills against a stingy ARC defense.
Friday night, the Eagles opened up Bay Valley Conference play as they traveled to Yuba College. From the beginning, the host 49er’s displayed strong offense and defense. The usually potent combination of Shana Hiatt and Meghan Metcalf (Soph. Ukiah High) were held to just six and four kills respectively for the entire match. The Eagles went down in three sets 25-4, 25-15, 25-17. Mendocino was able to play evenly with Yuba for most of the last set, however it was too little too late for the Eagles. Mendocino head coach, Ori Polkinghorne put the road trip in perspective, “We are pretty dinged up with injuries right now, but our women played hard in spite of that. We’ll heal up and get Savannah back soon —so we’ll get back on track. I am looking forward to conference competition.”
The Eagles return home for two matches this week—Wednesday, taking on College of Marin and Friday, going against Los Medanos. Both matches begin at 6pm.
EAGLES WIN THRILLER AT HOME
It took the Mendocino College Volleyball team all five sets, but the Eagles emerged with a victory over College of Marin Wednesday night. Mendocino dropped the first two sets 26-24 and 31-29, but came on strong to sweep Marin in the last three sets 25-14, 25-16, and 15-13 and seal the win.
The Eagles committed plenty of forced and unforced errors in the first set of which Marin took full advantage on their way to a win. Mendocino came out firing in set two and pushed to a large lead at 21-10. However, Marin stormed back with effective serving, eventually tying the set at 25. Play went back and forth until Marin managed to pull out the come-from-behind victory.
Facing a straight-set loss, Mendocino needed to dig deep. The Eagles shook off their nervous jitters and played with focused resolve in the next two sets, winning rather handily. The Eagles’ big three hitters Meghan Metcalf (Soph. Ukiah High), Savannah Harrison (Fr. Clear Lake High) and Shana Hiatt (Soph. Clear Lake High) finally got going and unleashed an impressive offensive surge.
The deciding set, however tightened up with Mendocino and Marin trading points the whole way. With the game in their favor 13-12 Marin called a time out to freeze Maille McCallister, the Eagles’ server. McCallister, undaunted, reeled off the last three points to notch the win.
Mendocino got a strong defensive effort from libero Courtney Schnitzius, who recorded 15 digs. The Eagles’ hitters dominated the net in the last three sets and were led by Metcalf (15 kills) Hiatt (9 kills) and Harrison (8 kills).
Mendocino is 2-4 in pre-conference play. The Eagles travel next to Sacramento for the American River College Classic and then begin Bay Valley Conference competition September 18th at Yuba College.
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