The Saddleback women's beach volleyball team swept through Golden West College and Palomar College on Friday afternoon at the OC Great Park. The Gauchos are now over .500 for the first time in program history.
Saddleback is in its fourth year of women's beach volleyball and after three years of growing pains it looks as if they could have a contender in 2019. Friday turned out to be quite a day for the Gauchos as they recorded their first-ever win against Orange Empire Conference foe Golden West College in the early match before finishing off Palomar College in the afternoon to improve to 3-2.
Both matches were close and the depth of Saddleback proved to be the difference. The opening match against Golden West came down the contest on court four where Samantha Dougher and Serenity Broome were taking on the duo of Jennifer Pham and Abby Botana. With the score tied at 13-13 in the third and final set, Dougher and Broome managed the next two points to pull off a 15-13 win in giving Saddleback its first win against the Rustlers in program history. The Gauchos then had a similar fate in the second match of the day when it came down to a battle between Saddleback's duo of Hayden Black and Kayla Castillo on court five against Palomar's Alina Lecakes-Jones and Emily Lopp. After dropping the second set, 13-21, Black and Castillo rebounded for a 15-13 win to give the Gauchos a 3-1 advantage on the scoreboard.
Saddleback's top duo of Ayla Fresenius and Nickie Hughes were too much for the competition on Friday, winning both matches in straight sets. Fresenius and Hughes cruised to a 21-14, 21-11 win against Nikol Powers and Holly Hennessy in the opening match and then enjoyed a 21-12, 21-18 win against Palomar's Mikaela Seiler and Noemi Ramos in the afternoon. Fresenius and Hughes are now 4-1 on the season.
Saddleback will play again next Friday when they take on Santa Ana College and Bakersfield College in Huntington Beach.