Women’s volleyball drops second straight conference game

Following a midweek 3-0 home win over the University of California, Santa Cruz, the women’s volleyball team found itself disappointed in-conference for the second straight game, losing at home to Pomona-Pitzer.  

After falling in a close first set and beating Pomona-Pitzer by 16 points in the second set Sept. 30, Chapman (11-5, 5-2 in conference) found itself in a hole, losing the third. With Pomona-Pitzer (6-12, 3-3 in-conference) needing only one set to win, the competition between the teams intensified for the fourth set, with longer rallies and louder cheers from the home crowd at the Hutton Sports Center. Each team traded the lead a few times in the beginning of the fourth set, until Pomona-Pitzer pulled ahead to win the game.

“I think we panicked and we just didn’t do the little things,” said junior outside hitter Courtney Justus. “One of our goals was definitely to block – we’ve worked a lot on blocking lately so we really wanted to implement that. I think we did in certain sets but not all of them.”

Pomona-Pitzer stole the first set from the Panthers 24-26 and the Panthers responded with a 15-point win over the Sagehens in the second set, 25-9.

“We had a lot of confidence in the second set and we trusted each other,” Justus said. “We tried not let them get three-point runs and get some blocks during each set.”

Junior outside hitter Courtney Justus elevates for a spike in Chapman’s 3-1 home loss to Pomona-Pitzer Sept. 30. Photo by Ian Craddock

The third set started off with much more back-and-forth, and had Chapman trailing for most of the set. It ended with the Sagehens taking a lead 2-1 set lead before winning the final set to take the game.

“I don’t know why (the confidence did not carry over from the second set.) I really don’t,” said head coach Mary Cahill. “They’ve been playing volleyball since they were 12  years  old, they shouldn’t be panicking at this time.”

The loss marks Chapman’s second straight conference loss, and leaves the Panthers sitting third in the conference at 5-2.

Chapman’s next game will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Occidental College (7-8, 2-4 in-conference).

“I definitely think this game taught us that we need to fight the whole time,” Justus said. “Going into Occidental, we just need to play with a chip on our shoulder and fight for every game.”

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