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September 30, 2011 > Pioneers back on track

Pioneers back on track

Submitted By Kelly Hayes

Behind a pair of dominant performances from Katie Allen and Samantha Bruno, the Cal State East Bay volleyball team posted its first sweep of the CCAA season with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-14) victory over Cal State Monterey Bay on Tuesday, September 27. The Pioneers (8-3, 4-3 CCAA) hit at a .321 clip and out-blocked the Otters (5-6, 2-6) 9-4 to bounce back from a tough loss at SF State on Saturday night.

"I really liked the passion and intensity that the team displayed this evening," Head Coach Jim Spagle said.

Allen and Bruno were quite the tandem in the front row on Tuesday, contributing 11 and 10 kills, respectively, and combining for 11 block assists. The pair committed just five attack errors, with Bruno swinging at a .500 clip on the night. Meanwhile, Kitona Offord added eight kills and posted a .615 hitting percentage, making no errors on the attack and assisting on a pair of blocks.

"Kristin Neary and Danielle Stewart were outstanding, both in their set distribution as well as their backcourt defense," Spagle said. "Our three primary passers, Leslie, Nicole and Katie, were stellar all night and Nikki Long and Samantha Bruno really came ready to play."

Setter Danielle Stewart posted a double-double, dishing out 17 assists and posting 14 digs and ran the offense well, along with Kristin Neary, who contributed 15 assists. In the back row, libero Leslie Ray led all players with 19 digs in the match and had just one reception error in 20 serve-receive opportunities. Allen and Nicole Boyle also found success in serve reception, with Boyle committing one error in 11 chances and Allen posting a perfect 1.000 reception percentage with no errors in 14 attempts.

"Kitona had another dominant night, and if there is any better libero in our conference than Leslie, I have not seen it," Spagle said.

As a team, the Pioneers committed just nine attack errors in 106 attempts, while holding the Otters to an .096 hitting percentage and forcing 21 attack errors. East Bay's .321 attack percentage was a new match high, while its 42 kills on the night established a season-high for three-set matches. Melanie Lashbrook's 11 kills and Lacee Ventura's 10 digs led Cal State Monterey Bay.

Cal State East Bay will look to continue its success this weekend when it travels to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State for its second conference road trip. The Pioneers and Warriors are set for a 7 p.m. first serve at Fitzpatrick Arena in Turlock on Friday.

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