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Prep Football Preview Special
ScoringLive staffSeptember 22, 2023, 6:25am
Thu, Sep 21, 2023 @ Damien [ 6:30 pm ]
Brooke Eglinton and Payton Smith combined for 16 kills and six total blocks as Mid-Pacific got back into the win column with a key divisional win over previously unbeaten Damien, taking the match in straight sets 25-23, 25-21, 25-19.
"It was very important for us and I'm glad we took care of business," said Eglinton of the win.
Along with Nikko Stack, Eglinton and Smith each put down a team-high eight kills, with Destiny Look adding six kills and Natasha Strongosky four in a balanced Owls' attack that kept the Damien block off-balance for much of the night.
"We're so lucky to have a bunch of hitters in every single rotation," Eglinton remarked.
The sweep of the Monarchs snapped a two-game skid, both of them losses to Division I teams.
"We stuck to the basics, we served, passed, played defense and just played our game," said Mid-Pacific head coach David Bayne of getting back on track.
Set one was the most contested of the three, where Damien rallied from a 22-18 margin to get within a point on three occasions, at 22-21, 23-22 and finally at 24-23, before a service error by the home team gave the Owls the set.
The second set featured the Owls leading basically from wire-to-wire, pulling ahead for good at 10-7 in the set with a 6-2 run that featured a pair of aces from Milan Scanlan. The Monarchs battled back to 24-21, but a mishit on the fourth set point for the Owls made it a two sets to none advantage.
A tight battle in set three was eventually blown open by Mid-Pacific, as 10-2 scoring spurt put the visiting team in a commanding position to take the match leading 22-14. Damien rallied late, turning back two match points in a row on a Isabel Himalaya kill and a Lacey Manzano ace, but Smith closed the door on the next point to end set three and the match.
"I think it was important for us to stay together as one team which is something we work really hard on in practice and that kind of helped us push through," said Smith.
"We ride on emotion," Bayne remarked of the scoring runs that helped close sets two and three. "So when we get that emotion going we can play really well. A lot of time we got to find ways to get them back down, but its always nice to have that on our side."
Kaila Kalama-Bajet had a match-high 11 kills and Kiana Cueto added nine kills and two total blocks to lead the Monarchs in the loss.
Freshman Milan Scanlan had 19 assists, two kills, two aces and 19 assists for the Owls in the win, splitting setting duties with senior Kanoelani Contreras who had 12 assists and an ace on the evening.
"They both have different playing styles which kind of helps us to just be a better team in general because it gives us more options," said Smith.
Setter Kenna Wengler had 19 assists of her own to go with three kills and two total blocks for Damien.
Mid-Pacific outblocked Damien 13 to 9, with Eva Hand's four block assists leading the way. Eglinton and Smith added three each.
The Owls will begin a three game home stand starting with Maryknoll on Saturday, Sept 23 before taking on Iolani II on the 26th and University Lab on Senior Night on the 28th.
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