The Saddleback women's volleyball program saw its season come to an end on Tuesday night at Grossmont College with a 3-0 loss to the Griffins. The Gaucho season ended at 19-9, but had a ton of highlights along the way.
Saddleback had its best season in 19 years, qualifying for the playoffs for a second straight season and setting some program highs. On Tuesday it came to a halt as the Gauchos couldn't mount any runs against a Grossmont program that will now face Irvine Valley College for a chance at the state tournament.
Saddleback seemed to have a tough run in every set on Tuesday. The Gauchos were even with the Griffins in the opening set at 9-9 when Grossmont made a run, scoring 10 of the next 13 points in route to a 25-18 win. Set two had a similar feel with Saddleback trailing 17-18 when Grossmont ripped off seven of the last nine points for a 25-19 win. The final set, unfortunately, was a carbon copy of the first two when the two teams were tied 10-10 before the Griffins made yet another run to close out the match, 25-19.
Saddleback's season ends at 19-9 overall and finishing third in the Orange Empire Conference (12-4). Along the way the team had a lot of high points, which will be something to look back on as it prepares for the 2018 campaign.
19 – most wins since 1998 (24)
2 – the first time the program has qualified for the playoffs twice in a row since 97-98
14 – the number of shutouts in 2017
6 – the number of consecutive shutouts during the season (Sept. 6-20)
3 – the number of sets taken from the top-ranked team in the state (Irvine Valley)
224 – the number of kills from team-leader Kendall Nolan
530 – the number of assists by team-leader Antonette Rolda
362 – the number of digs by team-leader Kelli Dowell
55 – the number of total blocks from team-leader Avie Butsko
4 – the 19 wins tied the fourth most wins in program history
12 – the 12 wins in conference tied the second most wins since joining the Orange Empire Conference in 1986