East County Sports

Hawks clinch best-ever GSAC finish



ECS staff report

FULLERTON – In order to achieve a sports dynasty, the program has to start somewhere. For the San Diego Christian College women’s volleyball team, perhaps that time is now.

The Hawks officially clinched their best-ever showing in their 23rd season as members of the Golden State Athletic Conference, clinching second place with a 4-set decision over host Hope International University on Tuesday (Apr. 6).

The last-place Royals. took their second match victory of the season in Thursday’s rematch against the SDCC reserves — a 5-set marathon that lasted more than two hours — but there was still plenty for the Hawks to celebrate after only finishing behind 3rd-ranked Westmont University in the GSAC West Division.

San Diego Christian’s 3-1 series advantage over Vanguard was the difference for the Hawks to rise above the Lions, which entered the season with a 35-match winning streak over SDCC.

Because of pandemic restrictions, no fans or the student body could share in San Diego Christian’s best finish since 2015. However, with virtually every player returning, plus three expected transfers to bolster the starting lineup, optimism has already started for when training camp comes in August.

To defeat Hope International, the Hawks rallied from an 0-1 deficit to sweep the final three sets. But the final set would be the toughest.

The teams exchanged the lead four times, then were even at 20-all when Alexis DeBina-Bautista would get the momentum going in San Diego Christian’s favor with a kill and Jessica Pinasco would contribute with 2 kills and a big block in tandem with Breanna Brooks to seal the victory.

Pinasco (16 kills) and Isabella Marshall (13) would lead the offense, which was operated under the setting tandem of Jewel McDonough (24 assists) and Ariana Velasquez (23).

Kayli Barrera was a digging machine with 24.

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