Back-to-Back SCIAC Champs

CLU to host SCIAC tourney semis Thursday

Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 10:30 pm

Casy McWhirk has been a part of the past two SCIAC championship teams.
Credit: Kevin Baxter Hi-res image

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Cal Lutheran volleyball earned its second straight outright conference title following a three-set sweep of Whittier on Friday night inside Gilbert Arena.

Box Score: CLU 3, WC 0 - F

The Regals were already assured of at least a piece of the SCIAC title leading by two wins in the conference standings with only two regular season matches remaining. Seniors Casy McWhirk, Jacki Richards, and company wanted to keep the trophy in Thousand Oaks and make a statement after the Poets nearly upset the Regals in their previous meeting.

Cal Lutheran's opening statement was a 7-0 run to begin the match. The Regals cruised to a 25-10 first set win behind 13 kills and a .480 team hitting percentage. Kyle McLogan smashed six of her match-high 17 kills in the frame while teammate Shannon Pearson was a perfect 3-for-3.

Those two finished with 27 of the team's 45 kills but the Poets hung tough over the final two sets. Both the second and third frames were tied at 23-23 but clutch efforts by Cal Lutheran earned 25-23 and 26-24 set wins, respectively.

A Poet service error and a two-person block from McWhirk and Lesley Smith ended the second set in favor of the Regals. Whittier led 24-23 in the third when Pearson emphatically tied the game with one of her three third set kills. McWhirk served out the final two points en route to a win and sole possession of the SCIAC title.

Whittier's Lauren Whiteman led the visiting side with 13 kills on only 18 attacks and a match-high .722 hitting percentage. Teammate Lindsay Kish switched to the libero position in the final set collecting nine of her match-high 15 digs in the loss.

Cal Lutheran's defense racked up 7.5 team blocks on the night with junior Lesley Smith leading the way. She finished the night with a solo block, three block assists and an efficient five kills on eight attacks.

The two seniors played pivotal roles in the win with Richards' 13 digs leading the team. McWhirk finished with 11 digs and six kills on the night.

Cal Lutheran (24-5, 12-1 SCIAC) will play its final regular season contest on the road Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Pomona-Pitzer. The Regals have secured the top seed for the SCIAC Post-Season Tournament and will host both semifinal matches on Thursday, Nov. 3.