LA VERNE, Calif. — Cal Lutheran's Hope Stewart tallied 16 kills and Amanda Roberts added 12 more as the No. 3 seeded Regals defeated the No. 2 La Verne Leopards 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23) in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) semifinal matchup Thursday night.
With the win, the Regals advanced to the SCIAC championship game against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas Saturday at 6 p.m. in Claremont, Calif.
The first set was highly competitive, but La Verne had the lead early on. With the Leopards up 12-7, the Regals went on a 10-5 run and tied the set up at 17. Carly Rose Howard tallied an ace and kill during the run, while Molly Holloway and Stewart both swatted down two kills. CLU kept the pressure on and took a 19-17 lead, but the Leopards tied it back up at 19. With the score tied at 22, Jamie Smith served an ace and the Regals took the lead. La Verne bounced back and took the first set 25-23.
With the second set tied at 5. The Regals went on a 4-1 run to take a 9-6 lead. Roberts served an ace, Stewart tallied a kill, Howard and Holloway combined for a block and Howard added a kill. La Verne fought back a little bit and cut the lead to 10-8. The Regals answered with a block assist from Mackenzie Martinez and Paris Dosch and then a kill from Dosch. A little bit later CLU pushed the lead to five and was up 15-10. La Verne kept it close and cut the gap to 24-22 before Holloway swatted down the final kill. The match was tied one set apiece heading to the third set.
Set three started exactly like the first two and went back and forth. With the score tied at eight, the Regals went on a 5-2 run to take the lead. With CLU up 14-12, the Regals scored five straight points to take a 19-12 lead. Hope swatted down a kill, Roberts tallied two kills and then combined with Holloway for a block assist. La Verne used a run of its own and cut the lead to one at 20-19. Stewart stopped the run with a kill. Stewart got the final kill as the Regals took the set at 25-20 and had a 2-1 lead.
La Verne was in control for most of the fourth set and had leads of 10-3, 14-9 and 17-12. The Regals grinded out point after point and eventually cut the lead down to one at 19-18. The Leopards pushed their lead back to three at 22-19 and then 23-20. The Regals then scored five straight points and Howard served an ace for the final point. CLU won the set 25-23 and the match 3-1.
With the win, CLU is now 16-11 on the season. Stewart led the team with 16 kills and hit with a .382 clip. Roberts recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs. Steph Rolfson had 22 assists. Defensively, Howard and Emma Cisneros-Luebke tallied 25 and 20 digs, respectively.
Box Score: CLU 3, ULV 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director