Volleyball ends regular season with victories

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The Cal State East Bay women’s volleyball team had a successful weekend as they swept their final two games of the regular season.

The team was impressive improving to 17-10 overall and 10-8 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference games as they now transition into the playoffs, which start on Nov. 16 in San Francisco.

On Friday, East Bay faced off against Stanislaus State (3-22 overall, 3-14 conference). Although Stanislaus is having a down year, the Pioneers showed how good of a team they were as they swept the Warriors.

In the first set, they had only one attack error compared to 9 for Stanislaus. They also hit for a percentage of .371 as Stanislaus hit for a miniscule .024.

They went on to win the first set 25-10. The game moved fast and the second set was similar to the first, domination by the Pioneers. Their defense was superb and the offense was aggressive, proving too much for Stanislaus.

East Bay won the second set 25-15 and went on to win the final set 25-16, completing the sweep for the Pioneers. Junior outside hitter Kiki Leuteneker had a total of 10 kills to lead the Pioneers.

On Saturday, East Bay honored their senior this season, libero Brandi Brucato, ahead of their final regular season game against the Chico State Wildcats (15-13, 9-9). Brucato has been a very efficient player during her career at East Bay, totalling the second most career digs in program history with 1,378.

East Bay played one of their strongest games of the season in a 3-0 sweep against the Wildcats with a hitting average of .429.

“We did well on limiting errors and maintaining control,” Leuteneker said. “We have so much potential and we have made so much improvement throughout the course of the season.”

East Bay had the upper hand toward the middle of the game as they lead 22-18. The Wildcats then went on a 4-0 run to tie it up at 22.

The Pioneers kept their composure and were able to solidify the win with Leuteneker hitting a kill to secure it, 26-24.

After the first set, it was smooth sailing for East Bay and they proved why they are second place in the North Division.

In the second set, East Bay hit for .407 percent in dominate fashion, which gave them a 25-13 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

As if the .407 hitting percentage wasn’t enough of a statement, the Pioneers proceeded to hit for .538 percent in the following set, which was far too much for the Wildcats to handle.

Junior middle blocker Deja Thompson had 16 kills, 3 service aces and hit for .625 percent on the night, one of her most dominating performances of the season. She also had junior setter Katie Ireland to thank as she accumulated 45 assists and 8 digs.

“I’m a leader on this team,” Thompson said. “Being one of the upperclassmen I try to go out and play well every game to set an example for my team. But anything I do well on my part is a reflection of my teammates. I can only do so much without the passes and sets that come from them.”

It was a successful weekend for East Bay and it looks as if they are more than ready for the CCAA tournament. The Pioneers will face off against UC San Diego (14-11, 10-7) today in the first round at 5 p.m. at San Francisco State..

“If we play with a sense of urgency, along with controlled aggression I believe playoffs will work out in our favor,” Thompson said.