The Saddleback women's beach volleyball team split two matches on Friday in Riverside. The Gauchos fell to Fullerton College, 3-2, in the opening match before beating host Riverside City College, 3-2.
Saddleback has more wins in 2019 than in the previous three seasons combined and improved to 5-5 overall on Friday with a split in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos bounced back from a narrow loss in the opening match against Fullerton to slip past the host Tigers, 3-2.
The final point in match two came down to a battle on court one where Saddleback's duo of Ayla Fresenius and Nickie Hughes (pictured) were taking on Riverside's Natalie Escher and Vashti Elias-Romero. Escher and Elias-Romero made things tough on the Gaucho twosome, winning the opening set 22-20 and backing the Saddleback duo into a corner. The Gaucho pair came out swinging, winning 21-14 in set two to force a final set. Saddleback's top pair then completed the comeback with a 15-11 win in set three to give Saddleback a much-needed win. Fresenius and Hughes are now 9-1 on the season.
Other winners in the final match included wins at No. 2 and No. 4. Jillian Hewitt and Ireland Ridill had a comfortable win on court two when they cruised past Sadie Arganda and Kayla McKinnon 21-11, 21-11. Samantha Dougher and Serenity Broome had to go to a final set in beating Robyn Collier and Telanni Childs 21-15, 10-21, 15-11.
Saddleback will play again on April 5 when they host both Fullerton College and Irvine Valley College on the IVC Courts. Despite playing both matches on the campus of Irvine Valley College, Saddleback will be considered the home team for both battles. Matches start at 12:00 PM.
Scores from the opening match were not available at the time of release.
Saddleback 3, Riverside City 2