GOLDEN, Colo. - Although the air might be a bit lighter, the Saint Leo volleyball team showed no ill-effects as they opened up their 2009 season with a dominating 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-19) win over the Adams State Grizzlies in the second day of the Holiday Inn/Oredigger Classic in Golden, Colo.
Game action saw the Grizzlies take advantage of some SLU errors early and manage to stay close to the Lions throughout the initial points of all three games. After Adams State tied the score in each set, it was the Lions who managed to put together impressive runs to regain the lead and the momentum.
The off-season rustiness would wear off quickly for the Lions as SLU saw newcomers Brunca Rocha and Emily Calderon-Reyes have significant contributions and blend seamlessly with veterans Kaitlin McKenna and Michelle Nogueras. Each would have a moment during the match where they would step forward, with McKenna posting three kills and a block assist to break a tie in Game One, Rocha and Calderon-Reyes combining their efforts to do the same in Game Two and Nogueras' sneaky dump-attacks solidifying the Game Three win.
All-in-all, the Lions saw McKenna rack up 10 kills, the only Lion in double-digits, while Rocha and Calderon-Reyes each posted eight. The Lions hit .247 as a team with Calderon-Reyes and McKenna hitting .375 and .350 respectively. Nogueras also snuck in with four kills, 28 set-assists and a .500 attacking average.
Reigning region and conference freshman of the year Danielle Bletso chipped in with four kills in 14 attempts, a block assist and three service aces.
The Lions will have one more match on this opening day of the season as they face Mesa State later today on the campus of the Colorado School of Mines. Things are scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
Be sure to follow the match on the Saint Leo Lions Twitter page at www.twitter.com/SaintLeoLions.