Women’s volleyball wins home game, rebounds from Whittier loss

Senior middle blocker Lauren Friend jumps to spike ball against UC Santa Cruz. Photo by Gabriella Anderson

Solid hits and blocks were key to the Chapman women’s volleyball team securing a win Sept. 22. The team won 3-0 against UC Santa Cruz, recovering from its 3-0 loss at Whittier College the day before.

Jessica Blum, senior setter, said the comfort of playing on home court gave the Panthers an upper hand.

“There’s no excuse. You should always play your best no matter where you are, but there’s definitely a certain level of comfort playing at home,” Blum said.

Blum started off the first set with several fierce serves, but the score slowly evened out and UCSC caught up toward the middle of the set.

Chapman eventually took the lead again in the first set with blocks and hits from Lauren Friend, senior middle blocker.

“(I focus on) Staying strong, staying confident, and visualizing hitting hard even though that might lead to an error,” Friend said.

Chapman won the first set 25-10 after an outside hit from Jessi Lumsden, freshman outside hitter.

“I was just trying to get some momentum going into the next set so we could come out clean and finish those next two sets so we could finish the game,” Lumsden said.

The second set started off with Chapman in the lead. UCSC fought back, but Chapman came out on top with serves from Karissa Davis, junior outside hitter, and Friend who ended the set 25-15 with a kill.

The first point of the third set was a power-move for Chapman, as Jessica Blum, senior setter, served while Grayson Sulimoff, freshman hitter, and Lumsden were able to end the point with a block.

Still, UCSC was not willing to give up, and the score was close throughout the set. Chapman players Mavis Lui, sophomore outside hitter and Friend were able to throw in blocks to gain some points.

When the scores get close, the Panthers try to buckle down and focus on one point at a time, Lumsden said.

Chapman was able to catch up with kills from Sophie Srivastava, freshman setter and outside hitter, and Sulimoff bringing the score to 24-22.

The last set was long as both teams fought for the 25th point. Lumsden seized the last winning point to end the game, with a close score of 25-22.

Lumsden said she credits the win to the energy and confidence within the team.

“(It’s about) just staying calm, one point at a time,” she said.

Chapman plays Pomona-Pitzer at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at home.