Sports Volleyball Women's

Chapman flies over Eagles

Senior Michele Hammer jumps to spike the ball.

Senior Michele Hammer jumps to spike the ball.

The Chapman women’s volleyball team built upon the success of its first match this Saturday, winning its second straight match to open the season. The Panthers faced Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University from Arizona, showing tremendous resilience to battle back from a first set deficit.

After a difficult first set in which Chapman ultimately hurt itself nearly as much as Embry-Riddle did, Chapman battled back. While the first set was categorized largely by Chapman’s own errors, the rest of the match demonstrated just the opposite, showcasing just how clinical the Panthers can be. While the Panthers committed a combined 10 service or attacking errors in the first set, every set following showed a decline in errors.

In the second set, the women more than tripled their hitting percentage, improving from a poor 0.111 conversion rate in the first set to a 0.351 rate in the second set. Once the women got back on track, they never strayed, taking the second set 25-17, after losing 20-25 in the first.

The Panthers had five players responsible for at least 10 points each, with most of the service coming from freshman setter Kaitlyn Raymundo.

The biggest factor in Chapman’s dramatic turnaround was the lack of errors following the first set. Sophomore middle blocker Ali Robinson was a catalyst for the Panthers, as she knocked down 13 out of her 24 attempts. Her 0.417 hitting percentage helped propel the team to a consistent performance, cutting down on the errors of the first set.

After the first set, the Panthers improved with seven errors in the second set, and six and four combined errors in the following sets, respectively. This efficiency enabled the Panthers to go on the offensive, taking the third and fourth sets 25-13 and 25-20, respectively.

This turnaround is evidence of the Panthers’ resiliency, and the confidence the team appears to have early on this year. The fact that the women had to battle back from a set down may be even more intimidating to opposing teams than the three-set sweep the Panthers took in their opener.

Chapman heads up to Colorado on Friday to face Bluffton University and Colorado College.

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