Women's Volleyball Opens Conference Play With Sweep Over Glendale

Iris Bernal and Leah Price protect the net for Citrus. Photo credit: Semaj Shepheard
Iris Bernal and Leah Price protect the net for Citrus. Photo credit: Semaj Shepheard

The Citrus Women's Volleyball team continues to impress, as they swept Glendale College in the first Western State Conference match of the year Wednesday at home. The Fighting Owls put on an offensive clinic in front of the home crowd as the team combined for 41 kills with only 7 errors, and a team hitting percentage of .391. The Owl's offensive general, Setter Tiana Gildernew found a way to log 30 assists in the game, despite the large point spreads limiting the number of offensive opportunities for Citrus. She also added 5 aces to the effort.

Things looked great from the sidelines all night for the Owls, but there was more happening than meets the eye. Citrus coach Shin Jung pulled some stuff out of his bag of tricks as he was forced to make some major shifts in his starting lineup due to multiple injuries recently. Briana Voght, who normally attacks, blocks and defends at the Opposite Hitter position on the right side of the court, made a seamless shift into the Middle Blocker position and essentially terrorized the Glendale defense throughout the night, dropping the hammer on fast tempo sets and logging 9 kills with just 1 error on 13 attempts, for a whopping .615 hitting percentage. With the Opposite Hitter position vacated, Coach Jung slid Outside Hitter Amanda Belzl to the right side, and reserve Outside Hitter Briana Olvera got the nod in the starting lineup to replace Belzl. Rounding out the lineup shift, defensive Specialist Julia Colin would fill in back row defensive duties for Olvera. Despite the lineup changes, the Owls worked together seamlessly, controlling the match from start to finish and demonstrating exceptional team chemistry. 

Leading the Owls offense once again was Outside Hitter Leah Price, who registered 19 kills with only 2 errors on 37 attempts for a monstrous .459 hitting percentage. She also contributed 7 digs on the night. Price currently leads the Western State Conference in kills with 314 on the year, is 2nd in kills per set with 4.3 and 3rd in digs with 224. Gildernew is currently 2nd in conference with 10.18 assists per set.

Citrus continues its conference run Friday as it plays host to perennial conference title holders LA Pierce. First serve is at 6:00 PM.