November 4, 2014 > Pioneer Report
Submitted By Stephen Connolly
Otters Outlast East Bay in Five Sets
The Cal State East Bay volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to visiting Cal State Monterey Bay 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 7-15) on October 28th. The squad fell to 6-6 this year at Pioneer Gymnasium.
It was a monster night for freshman Kiani Rayford, who notched career highs with 14 kills and a .464 hitting percentage. She had four digs and two blocks and made just one attack error. Amber Hall was East Bay's leading scorer with 15 kills and two aces to go along with nine digs.
The Pioneers (7-14, 4-12 CCAA) had a solid night on the attack, hitting .245 as a team. The Otters bested them with a .288 mark however, thanks in large part to a big discrepancy in the fifth set. The teams combined for 124 kills in the match, but each squad recorded just five blocks.
Unfortunately, it wasn't East Bay's night. The Otters didn't relent and countered by going on a huge scoring run midway though the fourth set to grab a 21-13 advantage. The Pioneers came back to win six straight, but the late rally fell short. After extending the match, the Otters won eight of the first nine points in game five and ended up out-hitting East Bay .333 to .062 in the set to secure the road victory.
"I thought it was Kiani's best match of the year," said head coach Jim Spagle. "But overall I was disappointed with our readiness tonight. We left way too many points on the court to beat a solid team like Monterey."
Samantha Bruno posted 12 kills for the Pioneers. In the middle, Micah Hammond finished with five kills and three total blocks, while Jovan Turner added six kills and two blocks.
Angie Maina tallied 22 digs and five assists as the starting libero. Veronica Sanchez also reached double figures in scoops with 10.
Ashia Joseph racked up 36 assists, four digs, three aces, six kills, and .500 hitting percentage. Fellow setter Veronica Fabiano played two sets and registered seven assists and a kill.
Pioneers Outlast Golden Eagles
Cal State East Bay earned 3-1 victory over Cal State Los Angeles on October 31st inside Pioneer Gymnasium. The Pioneers won the crucial points down the stretch earning the victory by set scores of 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, and 27-25.
Amber Hall led East Bay with 15 kills and recorded a double-double with 10 digs. Samantha Bruno added 11, and Jovan Turner hit .500 with nine kills on just 16 attempts.
Pioneers Topple Toros
The Cal State East Bay volleyball team concluded its five-match homestand by defeating Cal State Dominguez Hills in straight sets on November 1st at Pioneer Gymnasium (25-17, 25-21, 25-21). The Pioneers (9-14, 6-12 CCAA) have now won four of their last five in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.
East Bay out-hit Dominguez Hills .289 to .150 for the match, which is the second-highest attack percentage the team has posted in a league contest. The Pioneers also racked up eight service aces as the Toros struggled with serve-receive.
Amber Hall finished with 11 kills to lead all players. The senior hit .289 with just two attack error and added eight digs. Samantha Bruno had an extremely efficient night on the attack, recording eight kills on 13 attempts for a .538 hitting percentage. In addition, the school's all-time leader in total blocks tied for the team lead on this night with three.
Kiani Rayford totaled eight kills for East Bay, and in the middle, fellow freshman Micah Hammond hit .333 with four kills and three block assists.
Setter Ashia Joseph was on top of her game, racking up 35 assists (11.67 per set) along with two aces.
Libero Angie Maina tallied 15 digs to lead the squad, and fellow back line specialist Veronica Sanchez added six scoops. Freshman Brandi Brucato came off the bench to notch four digs and three service aces.
"Sam had a huge night for us, and Micah attacking at .333 with a big lift," added Spagle. "Kiani had her third strong match in a row, and Amber made some big side-outs when we really needed them. Angie, Veronica, and Brandi all made outstanding plays on the back row, and Brandi really helped us out at the service line with three aces."