ST. LOUIS, Mo.— Regals volleyball got great experience as Cal Lutheran took on the No. 1 team in the country, Emory, and Washington (Mo.) on Saturday, day two of the East to West Battle. CLU fell in both matchups, 3-0 to Emory and 3-1 to WashU.
The tournament was headlined by many top teams around country. On top of the Emory Eagles being No. 1, WashU also received votes in the AVCA poll. The loss was the third straight for the Regals, who are now 6-5 on the season.
The Regals hung tough as they faced off with the No. 1 team in the country. Morgan Given recorded a team-high eight kills to lead the offense and Maci Haddad and Samantha Landrum both added five.
Jennifer Kent and Jenna Jones split time at the setter position and dished out 13 and 10 assists, respectively. Defensively, Carly Rose Howard helped protect the floor and recorded 13 digs while Christina Williams protected the net with four total blocks.
All three sets were close as the Regals put up 20 and 21 points in the first and second sets, but were held off by the Eagles as they took a 2-0 match lead. Cal Lutheran had its shot in the third set, up 14-9, after block assists from Mackenzie Martinez and Williams, Landrum and Williams, and finally Given and Williams. The blocks forced Emory to take a timeout, which paid off for the Eagles as they came out and scored 12 straight points to take the lead. The Eagles won the final set 25-17 and swept the Regals.
Haddad led the charge with nine kills, hitting with a .500 clip, and Landrum swatted down eight, Given tallied seven and Martinez and Jojo MacArthur both had six. Jones and Kent helped share the ball as Jones had 19 assists and Kent tallied 16. Kent was one dig shy of a double-double as she had a team-high nine.
Christina Williams helped protect the net, tallying four block assists as Martinez and Landrum both had three more apiece. Howard was second on the team with seven digs.
The Regals came out on fire as they hit with a .480 percentage in the first set. CLU scored four straight points, making it 10-5, capped off by a MacArthur kill. Cal Lutheran continued to increase the distance and won the first set 25-16.
With the Regals down 22-19 in the second set, CLU fought back and tied the game at 25. Martinez swatted down two kills during the run, Williams and Haddad both recorded one and Martinez combined with Landrum for a kill. The rally was ended by two straight points from WashU as the Bears tied up the match with a 27-25 set win. The second set win gave the Bears momentum as the match continued. WashU won the third set 25-15 and the fourth set 25-17 as they claimed the match 3-1.
After three straight tournaments, the Regals begin conference play on Friday. Cal Lutheran starts at Pomona-Pitzer with game time set for 7 p.m.
Box Score: No. 1 EU 3, CLU 0; WU 3, CLU 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director