THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 11 Cal Lutheran Regals volleyball team defeated the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and the Whitworth University Pirates on the opening day of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational.
Match One: CLU 3, UCSC 0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-13)
The Regals battled point-for-point with the Banana Slugs until deep into the first set. After being tied at 19, Cal Lutheran got six of the next seven points to win the set 25-20.
The Regals commanded the final set of the match winning 25-13. Stewart continued her dominance with 17 overall kills. Roberts had 10 more digs in the final set to bring her game total to 20, and Jamie Smith had 36 assists.
Claire Okerlund led the Banana Slugs in kills with 11, while Monica Lee and Tatum Novitzky led the team in digs with 12 and 10, respectively.
Match Two: CLU 3, WU 1 (25-12, 25-21, 17-25, 25-22)
After a game break, the Regals came back fired up for match number two of the day. Emma Cisneros-Luebke came in late in the first set to spark the Violet and Gold with a handful of serves. Sarah Hein subbed in to get the kill for the final point of the first set (25-12). Roberts leads the team in kills with five, while she, Smith and Stewart had four digs apiece.
Set two started out a close battle, but the Regals strung together a series of points to separate themselves. Amy McKee and Molly Holloway threw their names into the mix, adding three and five kills, respectively. The Pirates scratched their way back, nearly tying it up at 19-18. Holloway sealed set two with a couple of powerful serves.
For the first time of the night, the Pirates led the Regals for almost the whole third set. Cal Lutheran was unable to find their footing and Whitworth was quick to take advantage, stealing the game 25-17, and sent it into another set.
The fourth set was another close one, as both teams fought to get ahead. After a handful of lead changes, the Violet and Gold seemed to get an energy boost as they inched their way to victory.
Once again, Roberts and Stewart led the statistics with 14 kills apiece, but Holloway came in clutch when the Regals needed it most, including four service aces. Stewart tallied her second double-double of the day with 15 digs to pace the CLU defense as well.
CLU got contributions from 13 different players tonight. Overall, Stewart notched 31 kills while Roberts totaled 22 with the only solo block of the day for the Regals. Smith finished with 36 assists in each match for 72 on the day. Finally, Paris Dosch combined for nine kills in seven sets.
Cassandra Mendoza and Emiko Kahler led the Pirates in kills, combining for 26, while Taylor Wicht contributed with 24 digs.
Cal Lutheran (4-3) returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 9, for two more matches. The Regals first meet Pacific Lutheran at 2:00 p.m. before a much-anticipated rematch against No. 10 Trinity (Texas) at 6:00 p.m. to round out the 2017 Cal Lu Fornia Invitational.
Tournament Schedule: 2017 Cal Lu Fornia Invitational
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Release by Tracy L. Olson, Sports Information Director / Makenna Pellerin (Sports Information Intern)