Women's Volleyball

Austin and Kruse lead way as seven Lasers named all-OEC

Austin and Kruse lead way as seven Lasers named all-OEC

Irvine Valley's women's volleyball team has been dominant throughout the 2019 season, finishing the regular season with a record of 23-0, ranked first in the state since the third week of the season and wrapping up its third straight Orange Empire Conference title.

The Lasers head into the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association So. Cal. Regional Playoffs as the top seed and host a match on Tuesday night.

But first there were some awards to be handed out for IVC's perfection so far during the year.

OEC coaches chose sophomore middle blocker Kristin Austin and sophomore outside hitter Lea Kruse as co-Most Valuable Players of the Orange Empire Conference this week.

And seven players in all were named to all-conference teams.

Joining Austin and Kruse as all-conference players were sophomore setter Truth Hafey, sophomore libero Anna Unke and sophomore outside hitter Gabriela Griego on the first team and sophomore outside hitter Alaina Gendale and sophomore middle blocker Alma Entesari on the second team.

They have all helped make this a special season for Irvine Valley.

Austin has led the state in hitting percentage for most of the season. She finished the regular season hitting .500 and is averaging 2.97 kills and 0.65 blocks per set.

Kruse, who was also a co-MVP of the conference her freshman season last year, is IVC's do everything player.

Kruse averages 3.72 kills per set, which was third-best in the OEC, and led the conference in aces at 0.70 per set. She also chips in 3.59 digs per set, which put her 10th in conference.

Hafey topped the state and conference in assists per set 12.65.

Unke was all over the court for IVC seemingly every night and averaged 3.47 digs per set during the regular season. That ranked her 11th in conference.

Griego ranked 10th in the conference in kills per set at 2.88 and also hit .323 during the regular season, which was the third-best mark in the OEC.

Gendale was another all-around player for the Lasers and averaged 2.79 kills and 2.74 digs and Entesari, a steadying influence for IVC the past two seasons, averaged 1.38 kills per set.

Irvine Valley head coach Tom Pestolesi was also named the conference coach of the year for the sixth time.

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