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East Los Angeles College Holds Off Saddleback for First Home Pre-Season Win, 3-2

East Los Angeles College Holds Off Saddleback for First Home Pre-Season Win, 3-2

MONTEREY PARK, CA – Breanna Trujillo drilled six tough kills in the fifth set and Mia Madott was involved in two key blocks down the stretch as ELAC held off Saddleback in a five-set thriller (20-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 15-11) at the “E” arena. The Huskies improve to 5-5 while Saddleback slips to 2-3 with the loss.

"Our young women did an excellent job tonight maintaining their poise and game discipline," said head coach Elliott Walker. "We responded every time that Saddleback made a run and we were able to close out sets when we had the chance”.

Saddleback jumped on ELAC in the opening set, scoring four points until a cross court attack from outside hitter Breanna Trujillo (1) after defensive dig from Mia Madott (11). The Huskies settled in and began to pick apart the court attacking balls down the line. Despite the fight and with a few hitting errors by the Huskies, the Gauchos took a lead 15-9. Undisturbed by the lead, the Huskies rallied back to narrow the seven point lead earning four points, 15-13. The Huskies soon after took a three point lead with a few service aces from Angela Carrasco (18) and offensive attacks from Eriazmin Mauries (9). The Huskies established good rhythm but overshot their attacks resulting in a set loss to the Gauchos.

In the second set the Huskies took an early lead and maintained control for the remaining of the set. Trujillo had three early kills in the second set helping the Huskies jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Huskies would soon push the lead to 13-10 with attack kills from Madott and Trujillo and setter’s dump from Vanessa Gutierrez (17) who had 22 set assists for the evening. The Huskies played excellent recovery defense setting up a right side attack from Jacqueline Montoya that pushed the lead to seven (18-11) forcing the Gauchos to take a second timeout. Outside hitter, Ta’lor Crandall (10) helped the Gauchos maintain a fight with 3 kills in this set. But the hosts would not quit, scoring the next five points to establish a six point lead, 25-19 to close the set to even the match 1-1.

The pivotal third set was all Huskies until the final two points when the outside hitter attacked deep and out. Setter, Gutierrez (17) quarterbacked the floor distributing sets to key hitters at the critical time in the game. Despite the even distribution, the Huskies sat on set point 24-23. On serve receive the Huskies passed the ball to center court and outside hitter, Jessica Nunez (12)and freshmen mis-fired the ball deep striking outside the endline allowing the Gauchos to tie theset. The Gauchos No. 10 struck an attack from the back into the deep right corner scoring the 25point. Relentless, the Huskies refused to fall and held the Gauchos in an eight rally run untilmisfiring the ball along the net that eventually rolled onto the Huskies side.

The fourth set. Refusing to settle for a loss, the Huskies came out confident and fought to stay in the game. After a 15-16 timeout, the Huskies rallied to take a 22-18 point lead with big attacksfrom Madott and Trujillo who posted six kills each in this set. Yeketerina Makarova (19) making her debut was instrumental posing a big block for the Huskies. On the defensive end, the Huskies had 12 digs that translated into side out points. The Gauchos scored three points to close the lead,22-21. Not bothered by the comeback, the Huskies played solid defense closing off the outside side and sealed two big blocks by Mauries and Gutierrez placing the Huskies on game point. The Gauchos were determined to score the 22 point, but were unsuccessful after being channeled into the defense and receiving a quick transition attack from Trujillo who nailed the ball crosscourt forcing the defense to shank the ball tothe endline wall. The Huskies close the set 25-21.

The fifth set. Confident and poised, the Huskies set onto the court and implemented an excellent offensive game winning strategy lead by Madott who served tough resulting in 2 service acesand Mauries and Trujillo who nailed 2 kills each onto the defensive side (6-2) forcing a Gaucho time out. Not rattled, the Huskies returned to the floor to dig four consecutive balls after anoffensive attack by the Gauchos to earn four points pushing the lead to 10-5. The Huskies switched defense and set traps confusing the Gauchos who were forced to take its second timeout. The Gauchos began to fight back with a few strikes that landed on the Huskies side and a few misfires by the Huskies to close the gap 11-14. Not wavered, the Huskies took a time out and came back onto the floor with a serve receive pass that lead to Trujillo’s strong side attack collapsing the Gauchos defense and earning the set point (15-11).

The Huskies celebrate their first home win before a crowd of 143 guests. Among the 143 were members of the football, men and women’s basketball, wrestling, and men and women’s soccer teams. “I AM A WINNER!

The Huskies are set to conclude their pre-season competition in a home match Friday, September 26th at 7PM versus Cal Lutheran (JV) College in the “E” arena.