William Jessup opens tourney with two wins

Two Warriors make the history book
By: Brianna Campbell for The News Messenger
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The William Jessup University women’s volleyball team ended their second volleyball invitational with a close battle in the championship, but fell 3-1 against the Oregon Institute of Technology Owls. Jessup finished 2-1 over the two days of play.

"Today was a tough day for us," head coach Shasta Millhollin said. "We played a very talented and experienced Oregon Tech team, they are well coached and we're looking forward to facing them again."

In a long, hard-fought opening set, the Warriors lost 31-29, but battled back in the second set.

Down 4-7 in set two, Jessup came back and was knotted 21-21 with the Owls. From there, the Warriors pulled away for a 25-22 win.

OIT then won the next two sets 25-20 and 25-23 to claim the tournament title.

"We are very proud of the hard work that our team put in. They battled every point all match long and we know matches like this will make us better and pay off as our season continues," Millhollin said.

Jessup 3, Mills College 0

After winning a nail-bitter against UC Merced, the Warriors made quick work out of the Cyclones in their second match of the day. The Warriors won in straight sets, 25-2, 25-11, and 25-11.

Alicia Borges had a historic performance, tallying a new program record with 11 aces.

"The confidence from my teammates when I get on the floor is really what drives me,” Borges said. “They are always encouraging me to do my best, plus I always do a little prayer before I serve, so I have God to thank for everything."  

Jessup 3, Merced 2

The Warriors served up a pair of wins on day one.

Taking the first set against the Bobcats, the Warriors fell back 2-1 against Merced. But WJU managed to fight to the finish (25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 25-23 and 15-12).

Mackenzie Reeder-Esparza opened with 20 kills, as well as two blocks. Reeder-Esparza became the program’s fourth all-time for most kills in a match; it was also a career high for the senior. 

Brianne Whitt led the Warriors in assists (28), while Madison Pelham finished with 16. Taylor Jacky led with 24 digs, Kacey Berger with 17 and Whitt had 15.  

As the fifth set commenced, the Bobcats jumped out to an early 4-0 lead; however, the Warriors rallied back to take the lead 7-6. The team fought to the finish to defeat UC Merced 15-12 to take the match. 

"We are proud of the leadership of our entire team today. UC Merced is a well-coached, physical team,” said Millhollin. “It took all of the focus and determination we had to bounce back and finish the match with a win." 

William Jessup opens Golden State Athletic Conference play at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 playing host to Pacific Life College; they host Hope International University at 2 Sept. 8.