The MSJC women's volleyball team split a pair of matches on Saturday at the San Diego City Tournament, defeating Rio Hondo College and losing to Scottsdale (AZ) College.
The Lady Eagles started the day with an exciting 26-24 win in the first set against Scottsdale, but then fell in the next three sets by scores of 22-25, 9-25, and 21-25. MSJC did a nice job siding out in the first set and had very few service errors as they earned the win, but some serving and passing errors caught up with them the rest of the way in the loss. Taylor Kushner led the way for MSJC on offense with 19 kills, Alyssa Carillo and Kriston Hilkey both had 5. Courtney Flowers led the defensive effort with 15 digs and Alissya Theis had 34 assists.
In the second match of the day the Lady Eagles rebounded to earn a 3-1 win over Rio Hondo. Rio jumped out to an early 6 point lead in the first set and MSJC could never recover as the Roadrunners took the first set 25-22. The Lady Eagles came back in the second set led by Jessica Santos as they evened the match by winning 25-21. MSJC then got hot to take the next two sets by scores of 25-18 and 25-13, in the fourth the Lady Eagles built the big lead behind a 10 point service run by Flowers, who recorded 7 aces during the match. Kushner finished the Rio match with 29 kills and Theis had 43 assists.
MSJC did advance to the elimination bracket where teams played just one set to 25 and lost a tight set to Chaffey 25-22. Kushner, who leads the state in scoring, had 6 kills in the set. "I am really proud of this group of girls," said head coach Kevin Pratte, "We have improved a great deal on and off the court." "Our team is aware that we are capable of playing some great volleyball, the girls need to continue believing in our system and expect to be extremely competitive in every match."
MSJC finishes the non conference portion of their schedule at 8-2 and will begin Pacific Coast Athletic Conference competition this week. The Lady Eagles open PCAC play against the state's top ranked team, Grossmont on Friday at 5 pm in El Cajon.
Kriston Hilkey had 5 kills against Scottsdale on Saturday, but it wasn't quite enough as the MSJC volleyball team lost at the SD City Tournament. The Lady Eagles did bounce back later in the day to beat Rio Hondo.