Volleyball still in playoff hunt after 3-set sweep

Senior opposite Kylie Cooke jumps to spike the ball against Caltech Oct. 25. Chapman swept Caltech in three sets. Photo by Maximilian Hoehnle

The volleyball team still has a chance to make the conference playoffs. After a 3-0 sweep of the California Institute of Technology Oct. 25, Chapman needs to win the last two games of its season to have any chance of competing in the tournament.

“We finished well last year, and we can do it again,” said head coach Mary Cahill. “We want to do it for our seniors.”

The Panthers are fifth in the conference, one game behind fourth-place California Lutheran University. The top four teams will make to the postseason.

“We gotta win ‘em, baby,” Cahill said.

Chapman is set to play seventh-place Pomona-Pitzer Oct. 27 and sixth-place Occidental Oct. 28. Both games could potentially end the team’s season and Chapman lost to both, earlier in the season.

“We were ahead in both matches and then lost it,” Cahill said about the team’s previous losses this season. “We had a lot of injuries and a concussion. Now, everyone is back and in full health.”

In the 2016 season, Chapman tied for fourth place at the end of the regular season, but didn’t make it to playoffs because of a tiebreaker game. In the case of a tie, the conference turns to the least number of points scored against each team to break the tie. The Panthers may find themselves in the same position this season.

“Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy,” Cahill said. “We need to just play our game, and I think our girls feel the importance of winning the upcoming games.”

Because Chapman is one game behind Cal Lutheran, not only will the team have to win its final two games in order to make it to the tournament, but Cal Lutheran will have to lose one. However,  Cal Lutheran will face first-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the No. 7-ranked team in Division III, in its final game of the season.

“If everything happens how we expect it to, and we pull out these last two games, we will at best (be) tied for fourth,” Cahill said.

Chapman will play its next game at Pomona-Pitzer at 7 p.m. Oct. 27.

Leave a Comment