THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— Cal Lutheran seniors Amanda Roberts and Steph Rolfson both set a career-high in digs with 31 and 16, respectively, and the stellar defense turned into great offense as the Regals defeated the Occidental Tigers 3-1 (25-27, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22) Saturday night in Gilbert Arena.
CLU won its third-straight match and improved to 9-6 and 3-1 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. Oxy dropped to 3-7 and 0-4 in conference.
The defense showed out in full force as four Regals recorded double-digit kills. Roberts set her new career-high with 31, with her previous mark being 20. She added a match-high 16 digs and recorded her fourth double-double of the season.
Rolfson set her new career-high in digs with 16, besting her previous total of 13. She tallied her sixth double-double of the season as she added 42 assists. She chipped in with three kills and one block assist.
Paris Dosch connected on the second-most kills for the Violet and Gold and put up 13. She swung with authority and was smart about where she put the ball and had a hitting percentage of .480.
Maci Haddad was the third Regal with 10-plus kills as she put up 12. She was big defensively and tallied 5.0 total blocks. Carly Rose Howard and Sarah Hein also had a big showing for the defense as they recorded 16 and 11 digs, respectively.
Freshmen were also great when called upon. Madison Karcich had five kills, one dig and one block assist. Lauren Heller added four kills, four digs and one assist. Julia Trento served two services aces and recorded three digs.
The first set went back and forth, before the Tigers took the 1-0 lead in the match with a set-score of 27-25. With the Regals up 12-10 in the second set, CLU went on a 7-1 run and took a commanding 19-11 lead. Big kills from Haddad and Dosch and a service ace from Howard helped spark the Regals. The CLU defense around the net forced Occidental into many unforced errors down the stretch as Cal Lutheran won the set 25-15 and tied the match at 1-1.
CLU found themselves in a quick hole in the third set as the Tigers were up 5-3. Cal Lutheran answered the call with four straight points as Dosch (twice) and Heller swatted down kills as the Regals took a 7-5 lead. The set would eventually be tied at 12. Roberts then connected on back-to-back kills and Mackenzie Martinez made it three in a row as CLU grabbed the lead back. Jennifer Kent dished out all three assists, on her way to having 12 for the night. With CLU up 20-15, the Tigers called a timeout. After the break, Kent served an ace to keep the Regals rolling. CLU took the third set as Roberts hit down the final kill for a 25-18 set win and a 2-1 match lead.
Occidental kept it close throughout the beginning of the fourth set, and the Regals had a slight advantage at 17-16. The offense and defense came alive, again, and stepped up for CLU. Roberts connected on a kill to get things going. A few plays later, Haddad, Karcich and Amy McKee all combined for a block assist and Cal Lutheran had a 19-16 lead. With the score tied at 21, the Regals scored the final four of five points, took the set 25-22 and won the match 3-1. Haddad had two kills and was part of a block assist with Rolfson and Hein served an ace.
Cal Lutheran looks to make it four straight wins Tuesday. The Regals travel to Whittier with the match starting at 7 p.m.
Box Scores: CLU 3, OXY 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director