Santa Barbara escapes fired-up Buena in five games

Buena showed Santa Barbara that it is no longer a pushover in girls volleyball.

The Dons were pushed to the limit before pulling out the Channel League opener on the road, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-11.

“We knew they were going to be good,” Dons assistant Lee Carlander said. “They have some seniors. They were putting together last year.”

USC-bound Eve Ettinger led the Dons with 27 kills and 13 digs. Dani Rottman put down 15 balls and dug up 16, and Holland Crenshaw added 10 kills. Setter Kira Schleich handed out 57 assists.

Carlander noted that Santa Barbara got a little rattled by the raucous crowd at Buena.

“In the games that were close, we made some mistakes down the stretch that we’re not happy about,” he said. “But (the Bulldogs) are a good team. They have a good outside hitter and a setter.

Ettinger silenced the Buena crowd at the end when she hit a jump serve down the line for match point.

The Dons head for the 64-team Durango Tournament in Las Vegas on Friday.
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