TWIN FALLS — Shiloh Peleras backed up an award-winning week with another stellar performance on Thursday.
Peleras led the College of Southern Idaho volleyball team to a three-set win over Monroe College Thursday night to begin the Starr Corporation Invitational. It was the Golden Eagles’ first home match of the season, and they picked up where they left off.
“It wasn’t hard to motivate them, being at home and being in front of a great crowd,” CSI head coach Heidi Cartisser said. “They wanted to display what they’ve done the last couple of weeks, and we’ve just kept building on every tournament we’ve played in.”
Early Thursday afternoon, Peleras was named the NJCAA player of the week. The sophomore middle blocker compiled 69 kills and five solo blocks going into Thursday.
“Shiloh Peleras is fantastic,” Cartissler said. “People are really recognizing how talented she is.”
Peleras’ impact was reflected in CSI’s record. The Golden Eagles were 8-1 entering Thursday, with the one loss coming to Miami-Dade College, the No. 1-ranked team in the country. CSI is No. 6.
Thursday’s match was the first of the season for Monroe, which is from New York City. CSI looked like the more experienced team early on.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in each of the first two sets, but they never led again in either. The Golden Eagles won the first set 25-12 and the second 25-14.
The third set was much tighter.
CSI built an 11-8 lead, but Monroe rallied to jump ahead 15-14 lead, and it stayed in control until the score got into the 20s.
The Golden Eagles settled down, minimized errors and took a 22-21 lead. They never trailed again, ultimately prevailing 25-23.
The third set was sealed by the same player who finalized the first. Peleras delivered a powerful spike that ricocheted off a Monroe blocker and landed out of reach for a kill.
“It was relief, but it was also pride because everyone worked together to get that final kill,” Peleras said. “You have to live with that pressure of, you can’t mess up, but at the same time, you have to go all-out.”
Peleras finished the match with 11 kills, as did her teammates Airi Miyabe and Jovana Vukcevic. Peleras and Rongen Maysie had two blocks, and Vukcevic finished with a match-high three blocks. Miyabe led all players with nine digs, followed by Vukcevic and Esti Wilson with seven apiece.
CSI continues Starr Invite play on Friday. The Golden Eagles are scheduled to play No. 16 Arizona Western College at 2 p.m. and Northwest College at 7.