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Orlandini leads Washington's 'D'

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy graduate has had big hand to play in Huskies' recent Pac-12 Conference success.

October 06, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.

Jenna Orlandini (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2008) senior libero, University of Washington women's volleyball: For the first time since 2006, the Huskies knocked off two top-five opponents in consecutive matches in No. 4 UCLA and third-ranked USC.

Orlandini posted a season-high 22 digs in the five-game win over the Bruins, 22-25, 30-28, 19-25, 28-26, 16-14, Sept. 26 and had nine more with four assists in the sweep over the Trojans, 25-23, 26-24, 25-21, two days later.

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"We grew up a lot," Washington Coach Jim McLaughlin said. "We were talking about an opportunity to take another step forward. It showed some maturity in this group. Beating the Bruins was an emotional win, and sometimes you can take a step back, but I challenged these guys not to. They rose to the challenge and really played well, still screwed up at times, but recovered, and that's the sign of a good team when you can recover."

The Huskies followed up the victories over top-ranked opponents with a 25-14, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20 road victory over Utah Friday. Orlandini had a match-high 18 digs in the win, which pushed her numbers to a team-high 165 digs, which is seventh in the Pac-12 with a 4.12 set average, and 36 assists.

The victories improved Washington to 14-0 and 5-0 in the Pac-12 Conference this season. It's the finest start for the Huskies, who are ranked No. 2, since they opened the 2009 season with 15 straight wins. Washington looks to keep up the pace when it travels to Colorado Sunday.

Eirene Kim (La Cañada High, 2011) sophomore libero, University of Chicago women's volleyball: In just her sophomore season, Kim has cemented herself as the starting libero for the Maroons. The former All-Area selection has posted team-highs in digs as a result with 336 . Overall, her 5.30 digs per set is the fourth best in the University Athletic Assn. She's also added 61 assists and 16 aces for Chicago, which is ranked No. 13 in the NCAA Division III polls.

Kim's finest performance this season came when she posted a season-high 28 digs and seven assists in a five-game loss to Heidelberg, 20-25, 21-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-8, Sept. 22. She followed that up with a 23-dig performance in a win over Benedictine University, 25-20, 22-25, 25-15, 26-24, four days later.

The Maroons (15-5 overall, 2-1 in UAA) returned from a six-day layoff Saturday with two home matches with Endicott and No. 9 Elmhurst in the Chicago Triangular.

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