May 27, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

IVC’s Anna Unke, former Crean Lutheran star, commits to Cal State Bakersfield

Anna Unke made her college commitment this week. (Photo courtesy IVC Athletics)

Irvine Valley College’s women’s indoor and beach volleyball coach Tom Pestolesi announced that two-year starter and standout Anna Unke from Crean Lutheran High School has committed to NCAA Division I Cal State Bakersfield.

She has committed to play both indoor and beach volleyball with the Roadrunners.

Unke shined both on the sand and indoors for the Lasers.

Last spring, Unke helped lead the IVC beach team to a perfect Orange Empire Conference record and a third-place finish at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship in Chula Vista.

The Lasers ended the year ranked No. 3 in the state in the American Volleyball Coaches Association final poll. The Laser beach squad was named the team of the year as part of the IVC athletic department’s 19th Annual Awards.

Irvine Valley ended with a record of 17-8 overall and won a conference title with a mark of 10-0. IVC ended up going 15-1 against community college opponents in 2019.

Unke teamed with fellow freshman Gabi Griego on the sand last season. Unke and Griego finished fifth at the conference pairs championships last April. The duo was even better at the South Region pairs championship, taking fourth to move on to the state event individually.

And Unke and Griego went undefeated and captured their pool on the first day of the state pairs event before being knocked out the next day by IVC teammates Lea Kruse and Renata Bath 21-16, 21-18, in the round of 16.

Unke and the IVC beach team were ranked No. 2 in the AVCA preason poll this spring and it looked like the Lasers would have another great shot at making a state run before the season was halted. 

Unke was teamed with fellow sophomore Alaina Gendale this season. The duo was playing primarily at the No. 2 or 3 position out of the five teams in the IVC lineup.

Indoors, Unke had a fabulous sophomore year for the Lasers. She helped IVC to the CCCAA State Championship both her freshman and sohomore seasons. After playing primarily as a defensive specialist her freshman year, Unke was the starting libero for IVC in 2019.

Irvine Valley went 27-1 and its only loss was in five sets to Feather River in five dramatic sets in the state title match in Chula Vista. Unke finished with 18 digs in that contest and over the three matches and 15 sets that IVC played at state, Unke totaled 59 digs.

She was named second team all-conference in 2019. Unke finished the year with 349 digs and a 3.71 digs average. Both numbers were tops on the team.

Unke is headed to a Cal State Bakersfield beach team that IVC actually already played on the sand this season. The Lasers hosted the Roadrunners on Feb. 28 and Unke and Gendale won their match, 21-16, 21-17, at the No. 3 position.

Source: IVC Sports Information