THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The California Lutheran University women's volleyball team put on a dominating performance verses the Whittier College Poets inside a loud Gilbert Arena Friday night and came away with a 3-1 victory.
Both teams currently sit in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) top four spots as the post-season approaches. CLU is the No. 4 team and Whittier is No. 3. The Regals improved to 8-5 in conference and 12-10 overall. With the loss, the Poets dropped to 8-4 in the SCIAC and are 16-7 overall.
CLU started off strong taking the first four points of the match. Amanda Roberts served the first ace of the night as the Regals led 9-4. CLU kept a steady distance from the Poets, and then put the set away before they could attempt a comeback. CLU won 25-15 in a nearly error-free set. Roberts led with five kills, an ace and three digs.
The Violet and Gold continued their dominance in the second set taking an early 6-0 lead, which forced the Poets to take a timeout. The Regals shut out Whittier until the tenth point of the set. Whittier felt a bit of a momentum switch as they landed the next serve in the court for their second point, and then added a kill to make the score 9-3. The Regals put on a show the rest of the way and won the set 25-8 and took a 2-0 match lead. CLU hit with a .552 clip in the set with 16 kills and no errors.
Paris Dosch, Molly Holloway and Hope Stewart each had five kills as they entered the third set. The Regals won the first point of the set for the third time. The Poets came out fired up though, taking the lead for the first time tonight. Whittier maintained its lead throughout most of the set. Coach Kellee Roesel called a time out after the Poet's took a 14-9 lead, which led to a strong kill from Dosch. The Poets refused to back down taking an 18-10 lead. Whittier fought off a late battle from the Regals winning 25-17 and forcing a fourth set.
CLU won the first point again, which contributed to its early lead. The Poets head coach took a timeout before the Regals got too much momentum. CLU kept a small lead that Whittier could not seem to break. However, a service ace from Clarissa Standafer led to a Poet kill, which put them within two points. Whittier fought hard at the end, but the Regals were able to put the set away with a score of 25-21 and won the match 3-1
Emma Cisneros-Luebke had some clutch saves for the Violet and Gold, which led to their fourth set win. She had a match-high and tied her season-high of 25 digs. Roberts and Jamie Smith each recorded a double-double. Roberts had 20 kills and 16 digs, while Smith completed hers with 26 assists and 14 digs. Stewart finished the night with 12 kills. The Regals were a force around the net as the team combined for 5.0 total blocks to the Poets' zero.
Makenzie Thieme led Whittier in kills with 14, and she also landed two service aces. Camryn Purdom and Ashley Whittall recorded double-doubles of their own. Purdom had 23 assists and 18 digs, while Whittall 11 kills and 11 digs.
The Regals return to the court tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in a match against UC Santa Cruz. CLU beat them 3-0 early on in the season.
Box Score: CLU 3, WC 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Interim Sports Information Director / Makenna Pellerin (Sports Information Intern)