Regals’ Comeback Shocks Sagehens in Five-Set SCIAC Opener

Regals’ Comeback Shocks Sagehens in Five-Set SCIAC Opener

CLAREMONT, Calif.— Finding themselves down 14-10 in the fifth set, the Regals scored six straight points to win, capped off by a Christina Williams block and a Morgan Given kill, to complete a furious rally as they took down the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, 16-14, and won the SCIAC opener, 3-2, on Friday night. 

The Regals found themselves down many times during the match, but fought through the adversity and answered the call each time. After being down 2 sets to 1, Cal Lutheran erupted for a 25-11 set-four win, before showing the magic in the fifth and final set.

It was the SCIAC opener for both teams as the Regals moved to 7-5 overall. It was the second time the Regals have played a five-set match, and they won both times.

Carly Rose Howard was fantastic on the defensive end and recorded a career-high 36 digs. Her previous high was 31 which she set in the five-set win against Puget Sound. 

The offense came from all over the court as 10 different Regals recorded at least two kills. Given showed out as she swatted down a career-high 17 kills. Maci Haddad and Sarah Hein both added double-digit kills with 12 and 11, respectively. Mackenzie Martinez came off the bench with eight much-needed kills and swung with a .571 attack percentage. 

Jennifer Kent and Jenna Jones tag-teamed the setter position. Kent tallied 34 assists with eight digs and three service aces while Jones had 19 assists with six digs. 

Around the net, Samantha Landrum and Williams both led the team with five blocks and Haddad added four with Given and Hein having three each. 

The Sagehens came to play in the first set and after back-and-forth play, had the 10-8 advantage. The Regals answered the call as they scored five straight points with two kills coming from  Given and one each from Haddad and Hein. PP bounced back tying the set at 17, but CLU was there with the answer, again. Williams swatted down and the Sagehens committed an error to give CLU the momentum. With the Regals up 20-19, they scored three straight points, a kill from both Haddad and Hein, and CLU was ready to put the finishing touches on the first set. The Regals won the first set 25-22 and had the match lead. 

Set two was all about runs as both teams exchanged blow after blow. The set had 12 ties and six lead changes as the Sagehens escaped with a 28-26 win and tied the match at 1-1. The third set continued to be just as close and followed suit with the second with many ties and lead changes. The Regals faced a challenge in their first SCIAC match of the year as the Sagehens took the set 25-23 and a 2-1 match lead. 

Cal Lutheran came out on fire in the fourth set as they looked to push the match to five sets. The Regals jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead, but the Sagehens fought back and it was 7-5. CLU then turned it on and rattled off eight straight points to take a commanding 15-5 lead. Haddad combined with Hein and Landrum for two blocks and Haddad, Hein and Landrum each tallied a block. Cal Lutheran didn't let up and won the set 25-11.

Pomona-Pitzer did not back down and took a quick 7-2 lead in the fifth set. The Sagehens kept the points coming and were sitting on match point with a score of 14-10. That's when the magic happened completed the comeback and took the match.

The Regals continue with conference play and host their SCIAC home opener on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Gilbert Arena. 

Box Score: CLU 3, PP 2
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director

Regals Test No. 11 Trinity
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