CLAREMONT, Calif.— With each set being decided by two points, it was the Cal Lutheran women's volleyball team that came out on top each time as the Regals swept the La Verne Leopards 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 31-29) Tuesday night in Sports Pavilion.
The win avenged an early season five-set loss to the Leopards. Cal Lutheran moved to 5-4 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), 11-9 overall, and are now tied with La Verne for the fourth spot in the conference standings.
The big difference in the game was around the net. The Regals made their presence known and recorded 13 total blocks to the Leopards' four. CLU also outhit La Verne and had a .234 hitting percentage compared to La Verne's .136. The Leopards also doubled the Regals in attacking errors and had 28.
Amanda Roberts led the way for the Regals with 15 kills. She now has 932 kills for her career which is tenth-most in the CLU record books. She recorded 11 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She added four block assists.
Maci Haddad and Jordan MacArthur were next for the Regals with nine kills each. Haddad continued to hit the ball well and recorded a hitting percentage of .450. She is hitting with a .360 clip on the year. In just her second start of the year, MacArthur took big swings for the Violet and Gold and tallied her career-high in kills with nine. She also contributed six digs, two block assists and one service ace.
Taylor Johnson and Samantha Landrum both contributed offensively with four kills apiece. Johnson was huge for the Regals at the net and tallied a career-high nine block assists. It is the highest amount of blocks for a Regal this year. Landrum added four block assists and three digs to her stat line.
Steph Rolfson and Jennifer Kent kept the offense moving and dished out 29 and nine assists, respectively. Rolfson is up to 1,127 assists for her career which is ninth-most in the CLU record books. She added five digs, two service aces, one kill and one block assist.
In the first set, CLU jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead. Haddad and Roberts both swatted down two kills and MacArthur served an ace. After the Leopards tied the set at six, Cal Lutheran grabbed the lead back and scored three straight. Rolfson tricked the defense with a kill, instead of a set, and Roberts and Johnson combined for a block assist.
The set continued to be close and La Verne cut the lead down to one at 23-22. MacArthur recorded the last two points for CLU, both kills, as the Regals won 25-23 and took a 1-0 match lead.
La Verne scored the first four points of the second set as they looked to tie the match. The Leopards continued to hold the lead early on throughout the set and were then up 11-7. Landrum and Haddad started to cut into the lead as they hit back-to-back kills to make it a two-point game. A few plays later Haddad tallied a solo block, and then combined with Roberts for a block assist as CLU tied the set at 13.
As soon as the Regals got it close, the Leopards opened the lead back up and went up 17-14. Cal Lutheran would eventually inch themselves back into the game and Johnson connected on a kill to tie the set at 19. ULV didn't let up and went up 22-19. The Regals wouldn't back down as MacArthur and Roberts recorded back-to-back kills. CLU completed the comeback and took the lead after a block assist by MacArthur and Haddad. La Verne made an attacking error on the very next play and the Regals won the second set 25-23 and had a 2-0 lead.
The third set tested both teams physically and mentally with many ties and lead changes. Cal Lutheran went up first after Roberts made it 9-5 with a kill. The set was then tied at 9, 10 and 11. La Verne took its first lead, went up by as much as four points and had an 18-14 lead.
The Regals chipped away at the lead, just like they did in the previous set. After a Cal Lutheran timeout, the Regals scored five straight points and took back the lead. There were two big blocks during the run as Roberts and Johnson and then Johnson and Landrum combined to shut down the Leopards.
The set continued to be close and was tied at 24. It continued to be tied all the way up to 29. La Verne did have a 29-28 lead and was looking for the win, but Landrum recorded a kill to tie the set. She made it back-to-back kills on the next play and CLU had the lead. A La Verne error then gave the Regals the 31-29 win and the sweep.
Up next for Cal Lutheran is No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Regals host the Athenas Friday at 7 p.m. in Gilbert Arena in a pivotal SCIAC matchup.
Box Score: CLU 3, ULV 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director