Regals fall short in five-set match to Leopards

Regals fall short in five-set match to Leopards

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The California Lutheran University women's volleyball team lost 3-2 against the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 24 La Verne 25-22, 25-12, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13 Tuesday night in Gilbert Arena.

The match opened up with a back and forth fight, but La Verne stayed ahead by a couple of points through most of the first set. With three kills and a Leopard net violation, the Regals tied it up at 13. CLU and La Verne had a close fight the rest of the set tying six more times before La Verne won the set 25-22. Carly Rose Howard led the Regals with four kills, while Hope Stewart and Emma Cisneros-Luebke contributed with six digs apiece.

The second set picked up right where it ended seeing several ties. La Verne started to break away, but Stewart had several clutch kills to keep the Regals close. The Leopards created some breathing room after a few hard kill shots, and they moved full steam ahead to their second set win (25-12). Stewart and Howard continued to lead the Violet and Gold with six kills each and eight and seven digs respectively. Cisneros-Luebke stayed strong with her defense bringing her total digs to 13.

La Verne started off the third set with two service aces from Madison Maynes. Mikayla Dobson came up with a clutch dig that led to a kill by Howard to tie it up at four. The Regals went on to take the lead thanks to a pair of attack errors on the Leopards. The Violet and Gold found some energy that got them firing on all cylinders. They scored five straight points to distance themselves from the Leopards. Several of those points were on kills from Paris Dosch.

The Leopards took advantage of a pair of mistakes from the Regals, as they fought to get back into the game. A close call by the officials put La Verne within one, but Molly Holloway came in clutch again with a kill to keep the lead. The Regals powered forward getting kills from Stewart, Steph Rolfson and Sarah Hein. CLU took set number three 25-20.

In the fourth set, Marisa Rojo continued La Verne's impressive serving adding their ninth ace of the night. Dobson joined in on the serving fun getting the first Regals ace of the match. Both teams fought for the upper hand, but neither team could find some distance. There were 11 ties in the fourth set with the Regals finishing off the win, 25-23, and forcing a fifth and final set. Stewart continued her lead in kills with 13, while also adding 17 digs. Rolfson added to her total of 35 assists. 

La Verne had three costly errors in a row to give the Regals a 3-0 lead in the fifth set. Kills from Stewart and Holloway kept CLU up by two, but the Leopards would not back down. La Verne tied it up at six thanks to a service and attack error from the CLU. A Leopards kill tied it up at nine apiece, but Dosch added two kills to take an 11-9 lead. A couple of attack errors tied it back up at 11, and there was another tie at 12. La Verne got its first lead of the set at 14-13, and they got a service ace to win the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.

Three Regals completed double-doubles on the night. Stewart had 15 kills and 19 digs. Howard added 10 kills and 15 digs, and Rolfson contributed 40 assists and 13 digs. Dobson and Hein had the only two service aces on the night.

La Verne was led by Rojo who completed a double-double of her own with 16 kills and 17 digs. Kristen Sanchez added 25 digs, and Alexia Balistreri had 15 kills.

Cal Lutheran (8-10, 4-5 SCIAC) returns to the court at 7 p.m. Friday against Chapman in Orange, Calif.

Box Score: ULV 3, CLU 2
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director / Makenna Pellerin (Sports Information Intern)

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