Regals Face Stiff Competition on Second Day of Cal Lu Fornia Invitational

(Photo: Tracy L. Olson)
(Photo: Tracy L. Olson)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 11 Cal Lutheran Regals volleyball team was on the short end of two tough matches today inside the Gilbert Arena on day two of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational. In the early match, CLU fell 3-0 to sister school, and AVCA receiving votes, Pacific Lutheran (Wash.) before dropping a highly anticipated rematch against No. 10 Trinity (Texas), who the Regals lost in a five-set match last week, by a 3-0 margin.

Match one: PLU 3, CLU 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-17)
The Violet and Gold went into battle with the Lutes, and Pacific Lutheran was ready. They took an early 10-4 lead over the Regals, but with the help of a Lutes net violation and an ace from Amanda Roberts, the Regals got back within three points. Pacific Lutheran refused to back down, winning the set 25-22. Jamie Smith added a service ace and 13 assists.

The Lutes raced ahead again in the second set taking an 8-1 lead. The Regals tried to chip away at the score, but Pacific Lutheran kept its lead for the rest of the second set (25-21). Sarah Hein served two aces and had five digs.

The Regals kept the third set close, but after the Lutes tied it up at 10, they commanded the rest of the set (25-17). Overall, Molly Holloway led the Violet and Gold with 12 kills as the only CLU player in double figures. She hit at a .370 clip on 27 swings with just two miscues. Roberts finished up with two aces, five kills and six digs. Jamie Smith and Mikayla Dobson split the setting duties with 14 and 13 assists, respectively, and CJ O'Brien paced the defense with a match-high 18 digs.

Kiana Calles led Pacific Lutheran with 37 assists, five aces and 10 digs, Chloe Epker had nine kills, an ace and five digs, and Mackenzie Harris contributed 10 kills.

Match Two: CLU 0, TU 3 (25-21, 25-16, 25-20)
After a delay in start time due to the previous match between Trinity and Whittier going into five sets, the Tigers came out energized after an upset by the Poets. The Regals put up a strong fight, but Trinity ultimately held off the CLU attack. Trinity took the first set 25-21. The Tigers continued to command the match through the second set, winning 25-16, though some of the younger Cal Lutheran players stepped up on the court. In the final set, the Regals battled and chipped away at deficits, but in the end, it was Trinity that walked away victorious, 25-20.

CLU was paced by Roberts with 10 kills and 17 digs while Smith (13) and Steph Rolfson (11) shared setting duties. Hein and Emma Cisneros-Luebke also reached double figure kills with 15 and 12, respectively. The two service aces in the match came from Cisneros-Luebke and Hein. Holloway was tough at the net with a solo block and a trio of assists.

Trinity (6-2) looked to Kirby Smith and Avery Tuggle for 12 kills apiece, Amelia Roden for 21 assists and Sarah Mullens for 17 digs.  

Cal Lutheran (4-5) will open Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play against AVCA No. 15 La Verne at the Leopard den on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Tournament Schedule: 2017 Cal Lu Fornia Invitational
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Release by Tracy L. Olson, Sports Information Director / Makenna Pellerin (Sports Information Intern)

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