After losing to La Sierra University two weeks ago 3-0, the Chapman women’s volleyball team came back with its own sweep against the team at home Oct. 5, winning the game in three sets. This was the sixth time this season that the Panthers have swept their opponents.
The Golden Eagles came into the match with a 1-6 road record (1-7 after the match) and were aiming to come back after a pair of losses the week before. Chapman had a 3-2 record at home before its victory which boosted its home record to 4-2 and 9-8 overall.
The score was first tied with an ace from Chapman sophomore setter Kaitlyn Raymundo early in the first set. Chapman then proceeded to take a close, 9-8 lead with a well-executed attack from freshman outside hitter Eve Silverman.
The Panthers pulled ahead again later when sophomore outside hitter Kiley McGill assisted sophomore middle blocker Lauren Friend in a kill, bringing the score to 18-16.
Chapman faced a 23-23 tie in the first set after La Sierra scored three times in a row. After the Golden Eagles briefly took the lead, Chapman junior opposite Kylie Cooke came in clutch for the Panthers, tying the game once more. Chapman then proceeded to take the set 26-24.
Junior middle blocker Abby Smith said that the team has a strategy for moving on from mistakes.
“I think we have really been focusing on getting over past points. A lot of the times we dwell,” Smith said. “We have been doing this five-second rule, where you have five seconds to worry about the mistake you made and then you get over it and focus on getting the next pass. It’s about having a more positive mentality and being more cohesive as a team.”
The second set resulted in another victory for the Panthers. Chapman took an early 7-4 lead which soon turned into an 11-11 tie. The tie was quickly broken when La Sierra sophomore defensive specialist Emily Morgan came out of a timeout with a kill bringing the score to 11-12.
The score was tied three more times in the set and to finish it off, Chapman sophomore outside hitter Courtney Justus came in with the kill to win the second set for the Panthers.
The third and final set began with the Golden Eagles taking an early 4-1 lead, though Chapman soon tied the score 5-5 and continued to rack up points. When Justus kept the ball up with her foot for the Panthers late in the set, they were able to extend their lead to 18-9. The match ended when La Sierra had two bad passes and a failed attack on Chapman’s game point.
“I think it was just confidence coming out of the first two games,” Smith said. “We had our ups and downs in the first two games but we still were able to make it over. That just kind of gave us a confidence boost.”
Head coach Mary Cahill said that the team’s execution didn’t change much, as she partly attributed the win to La Sierra’s performance.
“I don’t think it was a real improvement,” Cahill said. “I don’t think La Sierra played very well, so it made us look better. I think we just stayed consistent and they didn’t.”
Chapman will play its next game Friday, Oct. 7 when it will travel to Pomona-Pitzer (7-8, 3-4) for a 7 p.m. game.