Regals Advance to SCIAC Postseason Tournament Final

Regals defeat Panthers and advance to SCIAC Tournament Championship match.
Regals defeat Panthers and advance to SCIAC Tournament Championship match.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran Regals volleyball team showed off an all-around game as they shut down the Chapman Panthers 3-1 in the semifinals of the SCIAC Tournament on Thursday night in Gilbert Arena. The scores of the match were 25-10, 25-13, 19-25, 26-24. 

With the win, the Regals advance to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament final. The match will be hosted by the No. 1 seed, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, in Claremont, Calif., Saturday at 6 p.m. Cal Lutheran improved to 18-10 on the year. 

Cal Lutheran's offense put on a show in the semifinals of the SCIAC Tournament. Three Regals tallied double-digit kills and with two more attackers just shy of 10. Jordan MacArthur led the attack with 12 kills while Maci Haddad and Amanda Roberts both added 11. Taylor Johnson was next with nine kills and Mackenzie Martinez added eight more. Roberts added more offense with four aces.

Jennifer Kent kept the offense moving. She dished out 44 assists. She added a double-double with 10 digs. She also recorded two kills and two service aces.  

The Violet and Gold had plenty of defense as well. The Regals were a force around the net and recorded 13 total team blocks. Johnson tied a career-high with nine total blocks. Martinez added four total blocks and Haddad, Kent and MacArthur each chipped in with three.  

The defense had five Regals with double-digit digs. Joining Kent in double-digits was Carly Rose Howard with a team-high 22. MacArthur and Roberts both recorded double-doubles as they tallied 14 digs. Martinez made it five Regals as she added 12. 

The Regals came out firing in the first two sets and recorded attack percentages of .370 and .375, respectively. In the first set, Cal Lutheran jumped all over Chapman and had a quick 7-1 lead. The Regals kept scoring in bunches and were eventually up 18-6. The Violet and Gold didn't let up and took the first set 25-10. 

In the second set, Chapman had an early 6-0 lead. Cal Lutheran was there to answer the call, scoring six straight points and tied the set. Johnson recorded kill and then combined with Martinez for a block assist during the run. Roberts added two service aces. With the score tied at 10, CLU scored seven straight and took a commanding lead. Haddad, Kent and MacArthur all combined on a block to start the run. Roberts, Haddad and MacArthur all added a kill during the stretch. Cal Lutheran went on to win the set, 25-13, and had a 2-0 match lead.

Chapman wouldn't go away quietly and claimed the third set 25-19. The Panthers looked to tie up the match in the fourth set. With the score tied at 12, CLU rattled off four straight points and was looking to put the finishing touches on the game. All four points came from the Regals, with big plays being back-to-back blocks from Martinez and Johnson and then Johnson and MacArthur.

The Panthers continued to keep the game close and CLU was only up 20-18. On the very next play, Kent made a nice fake. Instead of setting the ball, she swiftly hit it over the net for the kill and a three-point lead. The set was finally tied up at 24. The Regals were right there to answer the call, again, as Johnson and Haddad swatted down back-to-back kills for the win. CLU won the fourth set 26-24 and the match 3-1.

On Saturday, the Regals will be looking to win their 14thSCIAC Championship as they try to get back to the NCAA Tournament.  

Interview with Taylor Johnson, Carly Rose Howard and Mackenzie Martinez:

Box Score: No. 2 CLU 3, No. 3 CU 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director

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