East County Sports

Hawks’ promise real after sweep of Hope


From staff and wire reports

FULLERTON —- Less than six months following their best Golden State Athletic Conference showing in school history, the San Diego Christian College women’s volleyball team proved it wasn’t a fluke by capturing their regular 2021 season opener by sweeping host Hope International University at Darling Pavilion.

The Hawks (5-1 overall, 1-0 GSAC) easily downed the Royals (4-6, 0-1 GSAC) by collecting more than 64 percent of all points, leading to game scores of 25-16, 25-18, 25-7.

A trio of Hawks registered a hitting percentage of more than .300, each without any hitting errors in a dominating performance.

San Diego Christian grabbed early leads in all three sets, but HIU only managed a short-lived comeback in the second set to get even at 8-all before the Hawks went on a 14-8 run to seize control for the balance of the match.

“It is rare to have multiple players on the same team play the entire match, hit over .300, and have no hitting errors, and tonight we had three,” said Hawks head coach Gene Kreiger.

Celestina Iupeli went 7 for 13 hitting .538, Breanna Brooks went 9 for 14 hitting .643 and Isabella Marshall went 8 for 19 hitting .421, all with no hitting errors.

Obviously, Krieger was elated after the match.

“I was very impressed with our first GSAC competition,” said the second-year skipper. “There have not been many college matches that I have coached where we’ve won a game 25 to 7.”

Hawks senior, setter Ariana Velasquez “set” the tone early by running off three straight points, first on a set-assist on a Breanna Brooks kill on a cross-court winner, then back-to-back service aces.

The Hawks would never trail in any of the three sets played, leading wire-to-wire on the impressive hitting thanks to their revamped net presence.

Brooks and Isabella Marshall would join in on the impressive string of Hawks hitting in the second and third, with Iupeli and Pinasco continuing to keep pace.

Except for a brief run early in the second set, the Royals never posed a threat and the Hawks never allowed HIU to reach 20 points in any set.

“This was a great start to the first weekend of conference play. I am looking forward to the home game tomorrow,” added the coach.

Hawks fall at home on Saturday

San Diego Christian continued conference action as they hosted the Life Pacific Warriors on Saturday at the El Cajon Salvation Army Gym.

However, Life Pacific dealt the Hawks their second loss of the season 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20.

Pinasco and Marshall combined for 23 kills, while Velasquez served 22 aces and combined with Pinasco for 23 digs.

Former West Hills and Grossmont College player Kayli Barrera led with 22 digs for SDCC.


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