The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.
Jenna Orlandini (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2008) senior libero, University of Washington women's volleyball: For the first time since 2006, the Huskies knocked off two top-five opponents in consecutive matches in No. 4 UCLA and third-ranked USC.
Orlandini posted a season-high 22 digs in the five-game win over the Bruins, 22-25, 30-28, 19-25, 28-26, 16-14, Sept. 26 and had nine more with four assists in the sweep over the Trojans, 25-23, 26-24, 25-21, two days later.
"We grew up a lot," Washington Coach Jim McLaughlin said. "We were talking about an opportunity to take another step forward. It showed some maturity in this group. Beating the Bruins was an emotional win, and sometimes you can take a step back, but I challenged these guys not to. They rose to the challenge and really played well, still screwed up at times, but recovered, and that's the sign of a good team when you can recover."
The Huskies followed up the victories over top-ranked opponents with a 25-14, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20 road victory over Utah Friday. Orlandini had a match-high 18 digs in the win, which pushed her numbers to a team-high 165 digs, which is seventh in the Pac-12 with a 4.12 set average, and 36 assists.
The victories improved Washington to 14-0 and 5-0 in the Pac-12 Conference this season. It's the finest start for the Huskies, who are ranked No. 2, since they opened the 2009 season with 15 straight wins. Washington looks to keep up the pace when it travels to Colorado Sunday.
Eirene Kim (La Cañada High, 2011) sophomore libero, University of Chicago women's volleyball: In just her sophomore season, Kim has cemented herself as the starting libero for the Maroons. The former All-Area selection has posted team-highs in digs as a result with 336 . Overall, her 5.30 digs per set is the fourth best in the University Athletic Assn. She's also added 61 assists and 16 aces for Chicago, which is ranked No. 13 in the NCAA Division III polls.
Kim's finest performance this season came when she posted a season-high 28 digs and seven assists in a five-game loss to Heidelberg, 20-25, 21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-8, Sept. 22. She followed that up with a 23-dig performance in a win over Benedictine University, 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 26-24, four days later.
The Maroons (15-5 overall, 2-1 in UAA) returned from a six-day layoff Saturday with two home matches with Endicott and No. 9 Elmhurst in the Chicago Triangular.
Kirstie Shurie (La Cañada High, 2012) freshman setter/libero, Clarkson University women's volleyball: The Golden Knights have set Shurie up in a hybrid role in her freshman season. She has played in all 21 matches and 74 sets in her inaugural collegiate season and has posted top-three marks on her team in assists (105, second), digs (188, third) and aces (31, third).
Shurie may have a more defined role with Clarkson now after the Golden Knights junior captain and starting setter Lani Durio suffered an injury Sept. 29 in the first set of Clarkson's sweep over Union College, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18. There didn't seem to be much drop off with Shurie, who delivered 17 assists and 10 digs in the victory. The Golden Knights had 44 kills and just seven offensive errors the entire match.
"We faced adversity last night and then had an injury today, so our ability to bounce back was really tested," said Clarkson Coach Johan Dulfer, whose team is 17-4 and 7-1 in the Liberty League. "I am so happy with how everyone responded and how hard we fought, especially in the Union match. If we can bring that kind of resolve, purpose and fun to the court every time, the future of Clarkson volleyball is in good hands."
Megan Siepler (La Cañada High, 2011) sophomore forward, University of Dubuque women's soccer: It may no longer be with La Cañada High, but Siepler is still a Spartan. The sophomore forward is now a Spartan with Dubuque in Iowa and she got her new squad out to a fast start Tuesday when she scored in the fifth minute of Dubuque's 4-0 route of Monmouth College.
The 2011 All-Area first-team honoree took a pass from teammate Melanie Prudhomme and fired a shot past the goalkeeper to the top right corner of the goal. Siepler also logged an assist on the fourth and final score of the contest when she drew in the defense before whipping a cross to teammate Alexandra Watkins, who was left one-on-one with the goalie for an easy score.
It was the second match in a row Siepler had logged an assist, as she set up another Watkins goal Sept. 29. It was Dubuque's only goal in a 1-1, double-overtime tie with Central College. The goal came three minutes into the second period, which gave the Spartans the lead. The Dutch tied the match in the 65th minute and neither team could push another across through two overtimes, despite Dubuque holding a 30-14 shot advantage.
Those are the only assists and the only goal Siepler has this season. She's played in eight and started seven of the Spartans (4-5-2, 0-1 in conference) 11 matches this year. She has 14 shots, five on goal this year. Her four points are tied for second best — with two other players — on the team.
Dubuque went for its first Iowa Conference win when it hosted Simpson College Saturday.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times