Atherton, Calif- The Pioneers failed to secure their first win of the season on the road against the Menlo College Oaks, falling in 4 sets, 3-1 in a competitive game.
The Pioneers continued their road trip against a non-conference opponent, the Menlo College Oaks. The first set opened as a highly competitive affair. Despite an early lead by the Oaks, PUC came out strong, dominating the set. The Oaks kept it interesting, however, mounting a comeback after six set points from the Pioneers. A good rally at the end put the set away and secured the first set for PUC. Lauren Purdom (SR/Murrieta, CA), with 13 attack attempts and seven kills, was a standout performer in the first set, along with Amanda Loeffler (SR/Hilo Town, HI) and Morgan Spencer (SO/Kailua, HI).
Menlo College carried over their momentum from the first set, jumping out to an early lead behind strong serving from Monica Hruby. The Pioneers closed the gap, going on a run to make the set competitive. Despite a spirited performance, the Pioneers dropped the second set, 25-18. Oaks outside hitter Maggie McDonald (Jr) proved exceptionally hard to handle for the Pioneers.
With the sets tied at 1-1, both teams opened up the third set in a highly competitive fashion. As the set progressed, the Pioneer's play improved and the momentum the Oaks had built up in the first two sets seemed to slow. The set began to get away from the Pioneers, however, with the Oaks establishing a five point lead late in the set at 17-22. After a timeout, the Pioneers managed to grab two straight points, to close the gap to 19-22. Menlo College pulled away however and won the third set 25-19.
As with the first three sets, the fourth set was hotly contested. The Oaks began to establish a lead as the set progressed, continuing to build momentum. The Pioneers were not done, however, and responded with a 9-4 spurt after a timeout to tie the set at 13 points apiece. The Oaks were able to reestablish their lead and finished out the set to secure a 25-17 set lead, taking the game 3-1 in 4 sets.
The Pioneers, who are now 0-2 on the year, will look for their first victory on Tuesday September 12 at 6:00 pm in Rocklin, California against William Jessup University.