The Riverside City College women's volleyball team return to its home hardwood on Friday night by hosting the Santa Ana College Dons in an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) showdown in the friendly confides of Wheelock Gym. It was all Riverside throughout the entire match as the Tigers handled the Dons with ease by winning three-straight sets with scores reading 25-22, 25-17, and 25-18.
It was somewhat of a sloppy game throughout the three sets with each squad holding a hitting percentage below .150 and a total errors count of 31. However, the Tiger's offense deemed stronger as freshman outside hitter Darricka Hewitt (Riverside, CA) got the ball rolling by recording four of the opening five kills in the first set. Freshman setter Taylor Gardner (Colton, CA) followed later on by lofting up three-consecutive service aces to put the Tigers up 15-10.
However, the Dons pulled within one point of the lead to make things interesting. Freshman outside hitter Kiara Oregon (Riverside, CA) responded by recorded two service aces, backed by a dual block from freshman middle Madison Bogh (Highland, CA) and Hewitt en route to an opening set victory at 25-22.
Oregon led the charge early in the second set as well by finding the floor on two service aces and a kill, thus leading to an early 8-7 lead. Freshman outside hitter Marcella Rodriguez (Belize City, Belize) turned up the heat and hammered home four kills in the latter portion of the set to distance the Tigers. Freshman outside hitter Kyndra J. Thomas (Victorville, CA) closed out the set with a kill leading to a 25-17 win to set up a potential match sweep scenario.
Thomas continued to swing with authority in the third set by recording two early kills, followed by teaming up with Bogh for a block. Rodriguez remained a huge threat with another pair of kills as well leading to a 19-11 advantage.
The Tigers continued to rely on the entire roster down the stretch with Bogh continuing the positive offensive trend with a kill. Rodriguez closed out the match with two kills en route to the 3-0 match victory.
Rodriguez led all players with 12 kills while adding a team-high 14 digs. Gardner assisted on all of them as she finished with a game-high 21 assists. Thomas backed Rodriguez's output with five kills, while freshman libero Natalie Escher (Redlands, CA) supported on the back line with nine digs.
The Tigers (7-7, 2-4 OEC) will face off against the Saddleback College Gauchos (11-6, 4-2 OEC) in conference play on Wednesday, October 11th on the road at 6 p.m.