Volleyball stretches winning streak to five
Women’s volleyball reached double-digit wins Saturday night, defeating visiting Pomona-Pitzer College 3-1 after sweeping the University of Redlands 3-0 Tuesday.
The first-place Panthers are now 4-0 in the SCIAC and 10-2 overall. Senior outside hitter Ashleigh Gideon was a catalyst for the offense Saturday.
“We knew that if we came out with energy and confidence that the match was ours,” Gideon said.
The Panthers came back from an early 8-3 deficit in their first set against the visiting Sagehens (7-6, 2-3), and ended up pulling away near the end, winning 25-18. The team looked sharp in the second set, and kept its side of the court pristine. The Panthers won easily, 25-12.
All-American senior middle blocker Kate Ferrin made a number of crucial blocks, and sophomore middle blocker Val Geiger came through with a clutch kill to end the set.
The Panthers struggled early in the third set. A key kill by Ferrin knotted the game at 24, but the Sagehens struck back with two straight points of their own, winning 26-24.
When Pomona-Pitzer took a brief 12-11 lead in the fourth set, the Panthers retaliated, scoring nine straight points to take a commanding lead, winning 25-16.
Head Coach Mary Cahill saw positive aspects in the win, but will continue to focus on necessary improvements.
“We showed a glimpse of what we can do tonight,” Cahill said. “But we still have to play hard all the way through. We can’t let up.”
The Panthers took down Redlands handily Tuesday night, capturing their sixth sweep of the season (29-27, 25-22, 25-20).
Despite getting off to the best start in Chapman’s Division III history, Cahill was not satisfied.
“We’ve been very inconsistent thus far,” Cahill said. “Some games we play well, others, not so much.”
Redlands (4-6, 0-4) kept Tuesday’s game within striking distance, but Chapman was able to finish and stay undefeated in SCIAC. Ferrin finished off the game with two straight kills.
The Panthers struggled in the first set and Redlands grabbed an early 2-0 lead, but Chapman came back to win a close first set in overtime, 29-27.
Gideon, who led the team with 15 kills, said the team struggled in preparation for the match. Down by five at two different instances, Chapman was able to stage a comeback, tying the game at 22.
“I think it was really the turning point in the game,” Gideon said.
The Panthers were able to pull away with a 25-22 win in the second set.
Chapman Athletics’ student-athlete of the week Geiger, came through big in clutch situations in the first two sets, and the third was no different.
“We couldn’t lose focus, we had to close it out,” Geiger said. “They were gaining momentum. It was definitely the biggest moment of the game.”
Junior setter Corrine Ostrovsky earned 52 assists, which was a career high for a three-set match.
The Panthers will next play University of La Verne, a top SCIAC team, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.