East County Sports

OUAZ, ACU both rally to stun Hawks in 5

2021 SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff report

EL CAJON —- The pair of 5-set losses failed to deter the San Diego Christian College women’s volleyball team from celebrating what could be considered one of the school’s two most outstanding seasons in program history since joining the powerful Golden State Athletic Conference.

On the court, the Hawks held 2-0 leads over nationally-ranked Ottawa (Ariz.) and Arizona Christian University before falling in five over the weekend (Nov. 12-13) at Salvation Army Gym.

The 18th =ranked OUAZ Spirit won, 16-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, 15-8. The following afternoon, the Firestorm survived a wild, 2-hour duel, 24-26, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-10.

However, smiles were found throughout the facility on Saturday’s Senior Day, honoring the Hawks’ Miranda Gutierrez, Aixa Crespo, Jewel McDonough, and Jessica Pinasco. Each has played an important role in head coach Gene Krieger’s transformation of the volleyball program.

In addition to their outstanding play, the senior quartet “demonstrated the leadership and character that will take the next generation of Hawks,” said Kreiger. “They will be Hawks for life!”

The breakthrough season saw San Diego Christian (13-11 overall, 8-10 GSAC) finish in a tie for fifth place, with several milestone triumphs. Along with a decision of GSAC runner-up Westmont (when the Warriors were ranked 25th nationally in the NAIA), plus a season-series sweep over arch-rival Vanguard University.

Individually, Brooks looks to be an easy All-GSAC selection (which will be released next week), finishing among all GSAC players in both kills (fifth with 202) and hitting percentage (third at .286).

In addition, Kayli Barrera (a senior who is eligible for an additional season because of COVID-19 regulations) ranked second in GSAC with 403 digs, while placing fourth were Jessica Pinasco in kills (202) and Ariana Velasquez in set assists (5.68/set) among the setters.

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