Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball team rolls in three-set win over Saddleback

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

The Irvine Valley women's volleyball team got off to a great start and went on to sweep Saddleback in an Orange Empire Conference opener on Friday night at home.

Irvine Valley came out on top, 25-5, 25-14, 25-17. The Lasers won their 32nd-straight match dating back to 2016 and improved to 5-0 overall in 2018.

Saddleback dropped to 1-6 on the year.

The Lasers have swept each of their five opponents this year.

Irvine Valley played some of its best volleyball of the season in cruising to a win in the first set on Friday.

The Lasers continued to roll in the second set, jumping out to a 14-7 lead on an ace by freshman setter Truth Hafey.

Saddleback came back with two straight points, getting a kill by Julia Brown and then a block for a point by Natalie Abboud and Mackenzie Alexander to make it 14-9.

But Irvine Valley won five of the next seven points to regain control. During that run, sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Vortouni and sophomore middle blocker Jacqueline Wolfe each had two kills and freshman outside hitter Lea Kruse added a kill to make it 19-11.

Two more kills by Kruse made it 22-13 for the Lasers and four points later Kruse ended the set with an overpass kill.

The third set was much tighter with Saddleback tying the score at 6-6 after Irvine Valley made a hitting error.

But the Lasers scored the next four points in a row and went up 10-6 on a kill by Kruse.

Saddleback didn't give in, closing to within 14-12 on an IVC net and staying within three points most of the rest of the way. A tip winner by Julia Brown brought the Gauchos within 20-17.

But that was the last point Saddleback earned in the match.

IVC went on a 5-0 run to close things out. A kill by Kruse set up match point at 24-17 and on the next point Griego had a kill off the Saddleback block to give IVC the win.

Kruse was the standout on offense for the Lasers on the night. She finished with a season-high 16 kills and hit .519 with 10 digs.

Griego added eight kills and Vortouni and Wolfe each chipped in six kills. Sophomore middle blocker Kylie Miller had four kills, hit .667 and had three aces.

Freshman outside hitter and defensive specialist Alaina Gendale had 12 digs, sophomore libero Renata Bath contributed eight digs and Hafey finished with 28 assists, a team-best 14 digs and one ace.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday at Golden West at 6 p.m. and then hosts Fullerton next Friday at 6 p.m.

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