MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles College volleyball team ended the season with a 25-23, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20 upset win against Chaffey College in South Coast Conference North Division play.
The Huskies ended the 2016-17 campaign 9-14 overall. Chaffey ended the season 6-18 overall, but finished in fifth place in the SCC North standings, one game ahead of ELAC.
Sophomore outside hitter’s Angela Wade (Port of Los Angeles High School), Stephanie Landry (Montebello HS) and Sophia Leon (Bell gardens HS) ended their ELAC volleyball careers.
“It was amazing to win tonight, but also sad and emotional to play my last game here and with coach (Elliott Walker) after two years,” said Landry. “It was bittersweet, but I will move on to the next level.”
Landry’s season totals included 122 kills, 65 block assists, 7th-best in the state, 72 blocks, 22nd-best in the state from more than 900 women.
Wade had a season total 187 kills, 41 service aces, 36th-best in the state and 16 blocked shots. Leon had 1.72 digs per set and 74 total digs.
Although the Huskies were not ranked this season, freshman Esther Duru’s (Lynwood High School) first season includes stats ranked statewide. She scored 464 points for the Huskies, the most in the state among CCCAA women. Her 1.94 blocks per-set average ranks the best in the state.
Duru’s hitting percentage of a .424 clip is 5th-best in the state and her 4.24 kills-per-set, ranks 10th-best in the state.
Set 1: Chaffey blitzed to a 6-1 lead with the Husky point from a service error by the Panthers. ELAC rallied back to two-point deficits twice, but Chaffey responded by pulling ahead by five points each time. Down 21-17, the Huskies rattled off four straight points that included a Landry kill sandwiched between two Wade service aces to tie the score at 21-all. Chaffey led the entire set up until the knotted score. Down 23-22, two Duru tips put the Huskies up 23-22. Two points later and up 24-23, ELAC served for set point. Duru jammed a quick kill, and ELAC won the first set 25-23.
Set 2: The second set had 13 lead changes and 12 ties. The Huskies were down 7-6 then the set’s longest rally ensued, which ended with a Landry kill and the home crowd erupted. Duru was responsible for giving ELAC their only leads, 9-8 off a kill, 13-12 from a service ace, 14-13 from a block and 23-22 from a tip. Chaffey closed out on a 4-1 run for the 26-24 set win.
Set 3: Chaffey jumped out to a 6-3 lead. ELAC followed with a 6-2 rally that culminated with a Duru block at the net and ELAC led 9-8. The set went back and forth until Chaffey went ahead 20-17, duplicating the set’s biggest lead. Four ties followed, the latter a 23-all score after Duru tipped the ball over two air bound Panthers to the deafening sound of the crowd who chanted “Du-Du-Du-Du.” Chaffey returned the serve into the antenna for an error and it was set point for the Huskies. Wade followed with a kill for the 25-23 ELAC set win.
Set 4: ELAC carried the momentum of a 2-1 set lead into the fourth set. The Huskies led 2-0 after a Duru block and a Landry kill. ELAC increased its lead to 7-3. Chaffey tied the score at 13-all with a tip ending the longest rally of the night. Duru connected on a long kill that began a 12-6 Husky rally. The rally ended three straight Duru points, a clean kill and two tips. The Huskies would not be denied on Sophomore Night in front of the largest home crowd of the season. They took the set 25-20 and won the match 3-1.
Duru added to her statewide ranked stats with a game-high 28 kills (.448 clip), 12 digs, a game-high 9-blocked shots, 4 block assists and 3 service aces.
Wade added 12 kills, 15 digs, 4 service aces and 2 blocked shots. Landry had 15 kills and 9 digs. Leon had 10 digs and 2 service aces.
Freshman setter Taryn Higareda (Rosemead HS) connected on nine digs and freshman middle hitter Linda Ruiz (Lynwood HS) had two blocked shots.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia