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East Los Angeles College volleyball freshman outside hitter Bela Gamboa gets a key dig. (Photo by DeeDee Jackson)
East Los Angeles College volleyball freshman outside hitter Bela Gamboa gets a key dig. (Photo by DeeDee Jackson)

ELAC volleyball splits games in Glendale Quad

GLENDALE, CA — The East Los Angeles College Huskies volleyball team split two games at the Glendale Quad tournament losing 3-0 to No. 5 state-ranked Mira Costa College then took out Glendale 3-1.

Against Mira Costa, the Huskies, 7-4 overall, played their second Top-25 team in a tough 25-10, 25-14, 25-20 loss. Mira Costa earned its ninth sweep and 13th win.

“(In) a tough first match (in Glendale), I am proud that they (the Huskies) remained steady in their fight,” said ELAC head coach Elliott Walker. “Running a new offense and getting the kinks out takes effort, concentration, confidence, and determination to succeed.”

ELAC improved throughout each se, almost taking the third, but fell short 25-20.

“Their fight in the third set to stay alive proved that they worked hard and have what it takes to get the job done,” said Walker. “Mira Costa had excellent rhythm and discipline, but that did not deter us from chipping away.”

Against the Glendale Vaqueros, the Huskies carried over their flow of play with attacks that built a 23-16 first-set lead.

SET 1: Being one point away from set point, “On a ball side out…Glendale served the ball. Freshman libero Ashley Castillo (Garfield High School) passed to the target,” said Walker. “Sophomore setter Taryn Higareda (Rosemead HS) gave a push set to freshman middle hitter Kayla Dickerson (Bell Gardens HS), (who) cranked the ball down the seam between two blockers to area 1 to set the game at 24-16.” It was set-point. “The team went wild,” said Walker. “There was also cheering on the side-line with players chanting ELAC! ELAC! ELAC!” The Huskies closed out the set on that match point and won 25-16. The Huskies had 13 kills hitting .375 while Glendale had eight hitting .031.

SET 2: The Huskies carried over their first-set momentum and won the second set 25-18. The Huskies outhit the Vaqueros with 14 kills (hitting .407) to seven (hitting .033).

SET 3: ELAC had 12 kills, Glendale had 11. The close set could have gone either way. Glendale came out on top 25-22.

SET 4: The fourth set was tight throughout. ELAC had more kills 15-12. The Huskies were more focused and gelled as a unit as they only had three errors to Glendale’s nine. ELAC won the exciting set 25-21.

In the 25-16, 25-18, 22-25, 25-32 win, ELAC had a clip of .290 hitting. The Huskies held the Vaqs to .58 hitting.

Freshman outside hitter Makkena Ryan (Oakdale HS) led the Huskies attack over Glendale with a team-high 13 kills and added 12 digs. It was her fourth double double this season.

Freshman middle hitter Daija Walton (Perris HS) had 13 kills on an amazing .444 hitting and was strong at the net with a team-high six blocked shots.

Castillo had a team-high 16 digs. Freshman outside hitter Bela Gamboa (Downey HS) had 10 digs.

Freshman setter Rachel Cruz (Garfield HS) had a team-high 21 assists, Higareda had nine and freshman setter Aifili Tuita'u (Cajon HS) had eight.  

The Huskies have two big games next week.

ELAC plays at No. 5 state-ranked El Camino College on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.

The Huskies then play their crosstown rivals Los Angeles Trade Tech on the Lady Techsters court on Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. It is a South Coast Conference crossover game.

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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia