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September 6, 2011 > Pioneers sweep tournament opener

Pioneers sweep tournament opener

Submitted By Kelly Hayes

Sep 2 - Despite losing eight players to graduation and returning just four from last season's 20-win squad, the Cal State East Bay (CSUEB) volleyball team picked up where it left off to open the 2011 campaign, topping both Academy of Art and Notre Dame de Namur to sweep the first day of the Humboldt State Tournament on Friday. The Pioneers (2-0) swept the Urban Knights, 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-18), before picking up a 3-1 (28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 25-12) victory over the Argonauts.

"We are a big-time work in progress, with tons of room to grow," said Head Volleyball Coach Jim Spagle. "But I am impressed with the potential of all of these women and even more impressed with their character off the court."

Old and new faces worked together to pick up the pair of wins on Friday as the team averaged 13.3 kills and 2.4 blocks per set on opening day. Newcomer Nicole Boyle led East Bay with 27 kills, while fellow junior transfer Morgan Hirzel added 18 putaways, hitting at a .395 clip. Returners Kitona Offord and Katie Allen also contributed, combining for 25 kills, with Allen adding eight service aces and Offord sharing the team lead with Hirzel with eight total blocks apiece.

"I was impressed with our new kids' ability to compete within our system and to maintain the discipline to pull out some tough matches against our two opponents," Spagle said. "Leslie Ray had a very solid day at libero and Kitona Offord and Katie Allen competed well all day. Newcomer Nicole Boyle had a marvelous day too."

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