East County Sports

Home salvation in Hawk win over Hope


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON —- There are two things you can do to cure a three-match losing streak: roll over and play dead or do something about it.

For San Diego Christian College, it was the latter in controlling Hope International in Saturday’s (Oct. 16) four-set victory in Golden State Athletic Conference play at Salvation Army Gym. Game scores were 25-12,19-25,25-13,26-24.

Unlike Friday’s road loss at Life Pacific University when the Hawks allowed late leads to slip away, SDCC stood strong after a brief failure in the second set.

“We gave away a lot of points in the second set,” said Hawks head coach Gene Krieger. “But we made some corrections and took control of the match.”

A brief faux pas saw the Royals go on an 8-1 run to take over the second set to level the match at 1-set each. However, the Hawks took charge the rest of the way, including the decisive fourth set by scoring six of the final seven points to overcome a 20-23 deficit to send Hope packing back to Fullerton.

“This conference is tough on the road (to) get wins with long bus rides,” said SDCC sophomore Isabella Marshall, who posted a season-high 16 kills as the right-side hitter. “And every team is beating each other — it’s  kind of all over the place right now.”

With 20th-ranked Ottawa University (Ariz.) on top of the table, the rest of the standings find six teams in a logjam between second seventh place as the second round of GSAC play is now underway.

“We came out tonight and played for each other and played together,” Marshall said.

Marshall was impressed with the Hawks’ netplay. Along with her match-leading kill total, Jessica Pinasco added 14 kills while Breanna Brooks had 12 putaways.

“The defense was great,” Mashall said. “We really communicated at the net and the blockers were really in sync tonight. There was really a lot of trust.”

Among the six SDCC players to play on the front line, all six registered at least one block — a rarity at this level of volleyball.

Meanwhile, the back row saw Kayli Barrera lead the way with 21 digs. Three others — Jessica Pinasco (18), Ayanna Nunuha (13), and Ariana Velasquez (10) also reached double-figures in digs.

For Hope International, Carissa Wiles was strong at the net with 14 kills. However, Hawks blockers forced seven spiking errors, limiting the all-conference candidate to just a .200 hitting rate. For the match, the Royals spiked at a dull .099, while SDCC were twice as good at .214.

San Diego Christian (16-5 overall, 6-5 GSAC) again move above .500 in conference play and tied for fifth place, just two matches behind third place. Hope International fell to 7-13 (3-9 GSAC).


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