Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball team sweeps again, makes it 15 wins in a row

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team swept its seventh straight opponent and 12th opposing squad on the season, beating Saddleback, 25-13, 25-11, 25-18 in an Orange Empire Conference match at home Friday night.

IVC, the top-ranked team in the state three weeks running, remained undefeated. The Lasers improved their record to 15-0 overall and 8-0 in conference.

Irvine Valley has also now won 23 sets in a row.

Saddleback's record fell to 8-8 overall and 3-3 in conference.

The Lasers got out to a quick start, racing to a 21-8 lead in the first set.

A kill by sophomore middle blocker Kristin Austin gave the Lasers a 22-10 advantage. The Lasers reached set point at 24-12 on another kill by Austin.

Saddleback answered with a point on a kill by Cassidy Atchinson, but the Lasers won the next point and the set when the Gauchos couldn't get the ball over on three.

It was another fast beginning for the Lasers in the second set, Ivine Valley took a 18-7 lead after a block by freshman middle blocker Paea Tafea and a kill by sophomore outside hitter Gabriela Griego.

Saddleback didn't get closer than 10 points the rest of the way. An ace by sophomore outside hitter Lea Kruse put Irvine Valley in front, 21-8, and back-to-back kills by Tafea and Austin made it 23-9.

Four points later, Irvine Valley was up, 2-0, in sets after a kill by freshman outside hitter Erin Finley.

Saddleback didn't go out without a fight in the third set. The Lasers led the whole way, but the Gauchos closed within 18-14 and later, 19-15, after a kill by Atchinson.

Another kill by Atchinson kept Saddleback within striking range at 21-17.

But Irvine Valley put the match away after that.

Up, 22-18, Irvine Valley scored the final three points of the match. A lift was called on Saddleback and then Austin and sophomore outside hitter Alaina Gendale had kills to finish the win off.

Four Lasers recorded at least 10 kills. Austin led the way with 12, Kruse had 11 and Gendale and Griego added 10 each.

Sophomore libero Anna Unke was all over the court with 15 digs, Kruse added nine digs and Gendale and sophomore setter Truth Hafey each contributed six digs.

And Hafey, who leads the state in assists, 42 on the night.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday, opening the second round of conference play at Fullerton at 6 p.m.

Fullerton was the last team to take a set off of the Lasers. IVC defeated the Hornets in four sets at home on Sept. 20.

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