By Bryce Ronquillo
The struggle to put away a home victory continues for the East Los Angeles College Volleyball team who lost to California Lutheran University in four sets (25-15, 26-28, 28-26, 25-23) on Sept. 11.
This loss gives the Huskies a 2-4 record on the season with a four game losing streak.
ELAC head coach Elliott Walker was not happy at all about his team’s performance.
“It comes down to a lack of drive and motivation. That’s the problem,” Walker said.
In the third and fourth set the Huskies were leading before Cal Lutheran made a quick comeback.
During the third set, ELAC was leading with a score of 21-16 before the Regals scored five unanswered points.
During the fourth set, the Huskies were leading a close game, but critical mistakes hurt ELAC.
“As a team we try to talk things out. We are still getting better,” sophomore middle hitter Yekaterina Makarova said.
Sophomore outside hitter Breanna Trujillo was the offensive stand out for the Huskies along with Makarova. Trujillo totalled 21 kills on 70 attempts and Makarova had 10 kills on 17 attempts.
Trujillo has proved to be an impact offensive player on the court.
“I feel I did a decent job (offensively). The reason I say this is because personally, I know I could have used different strategies to make the kills more effective as well as have more kills. I am always telling myself what I did wrong and how I can fix it,” Trujillo said.
Makarova is playing her first season at the middle blocker position (played opposite last season) and has quickly become an effective player on the court.
“My hitting has improved since last year… (middle) is kind of different, but I like it. Last year I didn’t get to learn very much other than blocking, but now I’m hitting and I like it,” Makarova said.
Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Salazar did not have an impressive offensive performance, but picked up the slack in her defense leading the team with 18 digs.
Freshman setter Vanessa Peralta led the team in assists with 25, adding 13 digs as well.
“I am fully confident that things will change by Wednesday. Every game is about being prepared to play and that’s all up to the players,” Walker said.
The East Los Angeles College volleyball team is off to a shaky start with losses against Glendale Community College and Mira Costa College on Sept. 9.
These games were a part of the East LA Quad tournament in which Glendale, Mira Costa, Chaffey College and ELAC competed in the South Gym.
ELAC started off the night with a thrilling match against Glendale that went to five sets and was lost 32-30, 25-21, 13-25, 21-25 and 16-14. The second game played was against Mira Costa College where the Huskies fell short again 25-18, 25-14 and 25-18.
“I thought we played a good game, I didn’t think we sustained the constant rhythm that we work on in practice everyday. I think this is an eye opener for them to understand how it is to play before a large crowd and other teams that are just as intense as we are,” Head coach Elliott Walker said.
“What I liked most about today was that despite a difficult loss to Glendale, which I think we played over confidently, we bounced back and played Mira Costa very well,” Walker said.
Sophomore outside hitter and captain Breanna Trujillo had a total of 30 kills and 10 digs throughout tournament, 26 of her kills were against against Glendale. Sophomore outside hitter Alexis Salazar had a total of 28 kills and 16 digs.
ELAC lacks experience at the setter position yet sophomore Ashley Winet and freshman Vanessa Peralta have stepped up to the challenge.
Winet, played mainly opposite and middle blocker last season, totalled 29 assists. Peralta also added 32 assists of her own.
“It’s been very hard. I am not a very outspoken person and I was never used to the level of intensity that these games are at… stepping into a game against a team like Mira Costa where the level of intensity is high was very fun,” Peralta said.
According to Walker, a big part of college volleyball is the training received at the high school level.
“It is a shame our girls didn’t play (high school) club. All three teams play club. That is one of the biggest things that we have to face is that our girls are playing what you call ‘home grown volleyball.’ I believe that hurt us. Not in a sense where we can’t rebound, it is just a different mindset,” Walker said.