BURBANK — The Providence High girls' volleyball team continued its solid play this month, cruising to a 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 sweep over Buckley in a Liberty League match on Tuesday afternoon.
The Pioneers have won five of seven matches in October. Moreover, they have not lost a game in four of the five wins.
The latest effort had the Pioneers improve their league record to 3-1 — good for third place in the Liberty League standings behind Pacifica Christian and Archer School, which Providence defeated in five games on October 14.
Lorena Ubillus led the Pioneers with nine kills in the win over the Griffins. Olivia Menke complemented well with seven in the match at Providence, which hosted the inaugural Dig Pink Rally. The fundraiser included the sale of various pink-colored apparel, including T-shirts and bracelets, with all proceeds going to the SideOut Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
People may also donate through the campaign's web page: http://www.side out.org/cb/campaigns/campaign/7400.
"Overall, it was a good experience," Pioneers Coach James Jimenez said of the fundraiser. "We're already planning next year and thinking of ways to improve it."
The cause, and of course the volleyball match, resulted in a near capacity crowd that witnessed a hard-fought match, particularly in the second and third games between the league foes.
The Pioneers (13-6 overall) gave up the opening point of the match, but soon held a 7-3 lead after four consecutive points early on in the frame. The lead would not be relinquished. Menke led the way with five of her seven kills, doing her part to help the Pioneers maintain a comfortable lead.
The Griffins (2-14, 1-4) couldn't muster a good stretch and instead hurt themselves with four service errors.
Buckley showed a more inspired effort in the second game, as Providence let up just enough for a see-saw game that saw six tie scores — the final coming at 14-14, shortly before the Pioneers took control of the game.
A 4-0 stretch highlighted by a pair of Ubillus kills and consecutive aces from Menke gave Providence its largest lead of the game at 20-15. Buckley cut the advantage to three at 21-18, but Ubillus came up big with two more of her team-high six kills in the game — one on the ensuing point and the sixth on the game-clincher.
The Griffins continued to give Providence their best effort in the third game, and then some, leading, 23-22, late. However, Buckley succumbed to the next three points, falling on the wrong side of a sweep. With Providence up one point, 24-23, Jennifer Nardoni's serve wasn't returned. It was the team's seventh ace of the match.
"We cut back on our errors," Menke said. "In doing so, we didn't let them catch up and allowed us to maintain our leads."
Nardoni, the team's setter, did her job in pacing the team with 23 assists. Liza Mier, the team's third co-captain along with Menke and Nardoni, led a potent defense with 21 digs.
"It's never easy to sweep a league opponent," Jimenez said. "If we don't play well, then it's definitely not easy, but if we do then we can control it for the most part. Overall, we played well. There were moments we weren't ready, lack of focus."
Providence will continue its league season campaign Wednesday at home against Glendale Adventist Academy, and then travel to Holy Martyrs in Encino on Friday.