Regals Sweep in Senior Send-Off

CLU defeats UC Santa Cruz and Caltech in double-header

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 9:55 pm

Seniors from left to right: Rachel Smith, Erika Smith, Shannon Pearson, Erin Hedrick, and Lesley Smith.

Credit: Gaby Torres Hi-res image

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The No. 8 Cal Lutheran women's volleyball team won both matches of their double-header Saturday, defeating UC Santa Cruz 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22) before sweeping Caltech in the night cap 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15). 

The first game of the day saw Cal Lutheran race out and take the first two sets, looking sharp while hitting .251 asa team. Lauren Rohach six kills in the first set while Allie Eason had five in the second.

But a feisty UC Santa Cruz squad wouldn’t go away quietly and gave Cal Lutheran headaches the rest of the way. In third set that saw CLU hit .378 as team, UC Santa Cruz countered with timely hitting and was a beneficiary of a multitude of ball handling errors from the Regals.

The Slugs got out to a third-set lead at 15-11 before Eason recorded three straight kills to get the Regals back within one. A back row kill from Kylie McLogan would tie it on the following point and another Eason kill gave CLU their first lead of the set.

The teams would then battle to a 24-24 tie. The ensuing play had the CLU fans and coaches scratching their heads as a questionable call changed the momentum of the game. After what initially looked like a shot that went long in favor of CLU, the official reversed the call citing a Regal blocker had tipped it and rewarded the point to UC Santa Cruz. The Banana Slugs would win the following point after a kill, taking the third set 26-24.

The fourth set saw six lead changes in the early stages of the set and it wasn’t until a McLogan kill that CLU had a lead larger than one. Eason and McLogan would combine for five kills down the stretch and blocking error by a Banana Slug player ended the set and the match, 25-22.

Eason had her best statistical game of her young career at CLU, reaching both career-highs in kills with 18, and with digs, 24. Rohach had 14 kills while McLogan chipped in with 12.

Jenna Chavez handed out 44 assists.

Rachel Smith was second on the team in digs with 21 and Kennedy Peters finished with a season-high 16 digs.

In the second game against Caltech, Cal Lutheran used 15 different players in its defeat over Caltech 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15).

On senior night, the five seniors all shined in different ways. Rachel Smith led the offensive charge with six kills. Smith’s sister Erika Smith dug out a game-high 14 balls. Lesley Smith and Pearson each knocked home five kills and Erin Hedrick contributed with three kills.

In the latter sets, CLU fans caught a glimpse of the future as 10 underclassmen took the court. Hannah Orlandi had three kills and six service aces while Allie Hadley handed out 10 assists from her setter position.

With the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 25-4 overall and 15-1 in the SCIAC. Caltech drops to 1-21 and 0-16 in the SCIAC. The win clinches the one-seed for Cal Lutheran for the upcoming SCIAC post-season tournament. Chapman will be the second seed, La Verne will be the third, and Cal Lutheran’s opponent will be Occidental, who played their way in after defeating Redlands and CMS losing to La Verne.

Cal Lutheran will host both semi-finals matches this Thursday, Nov. 1 with the times to be determined later this week.

Box Score: CLU 3 UCSC 1