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Mounties sweep Citrus, 3-0, in season opener; DeGroot leads with 10 kills

Mountie Women's Volleyball

(Walnut, CA)  The Mt. SAC Women's Volleyball opened the 2021 season and dominated a visiting Citrus College team for the 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 nonconference victory Friday, August 27 at Mt. SAC.

The match was the first since the 2019 season for the Mounties due to the pandemic last year.

"It felt amazing just to be back on home court after two years of adversity," Mt. SAC Women's Volleyball coach Samantha Neely said. "These girls showed on the court (Friday) that they were ready and they were hungrier than ever to show Mt. SAC what they've got.

Leading the way for the Mounties (1-0) was freshman outside hitter Riley DeGroot with a team-high 10 kills (.409 K %). The freshman also had a team-high 11 digs and one service ace.

"It's good to be back on the court, I love it" DeGroot said. "She (Coach Neely) is super excited and we're all excited to be out here and play.

"We just all put each other first and we work together for one goal."

Neely pointed out that DeGroot played up and back in the match.

"Riley had a great game," Neely said. "She played both outside and middle blocker, so she was switching around a couple of positions, and did awesome at both. Ally (Euston), our (freshman) setter did a really good job running our offense.

"Collectively, everyone had a piece in this one."

Euston had a team-high 18 assists and two service aces. Freshman outside hitter Allison Whiteman added eight kills and six digs for the Mounties, along with freshman OH JJ Quarrels with six kills and five digs.

Freshman setter Alyssa Aleman added 13 assists and four digs.

"Having a team that's entirely made up of freshmen is something that's pretty rare in a normal circumstance," Neely added. "With this pandemic, it's created some unique situations and once again I think the resilience of these freshmen displayed on the court, I think they just went above and beyond expectations in this very first game. For every single freshman, it was their very first college game on the court."

The Mounties got off to leads in both the first two sets and never were behind, but trailed by a big margin late in the third and final set.

"I think at one point it was 7-17 (Mt. SAC trailing) and it was a pretty big deficit to overcome," said Neely, of the third-game hole they were in at the time. "I think the fact that we were able to overcome it, just shows the strength and mental toughness of this team and I can't wait to see where we go with it."  

Neely was also excited about the support given to the Mounties in the stands with a large crowd.

"The crowd was amazing and we have a crazy support system," Neely said. "I just can't stop smiling just knowing Mountie Nation is back."

Mt. SAC will host Moorpark this Wednesday (Sept. 1). The start time is 6:00 pm.

Follow Mt. SAC Women's Volleyball on Twitter @MtSAC_WVB

Follow Mt. SAC Athletics on Twitter @MtSAC_athletics or Facebook @Mountie.Athletics

For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.