Despite hopes to start off the second part of its season better than it finished the first, the women’s volleyball team was defeated 1-3 by Whittier on the road.
The first set remained tight throughout, but the Panthers managed to steal six of the final eight points to go on top early and clinch the first set. However, Whittier (6-3, 14-6) fought back and won the following three sets uncontested, winning the game and breaking the tie with Chapman (5-4, 11-8) for third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
“That’s something we’ve been collectively working on as a team,” said junior outside hitter Kiley McGill about the team’s confidence. “We came in fearless, but like any great team, hit a bit of a rough spot. Right now we are doing a lot of team building and self-evaluating to try to regain the fire and drive we had at the beginning (of the season.)”
McGill lead the Panther sin kills with 10, junior middle blocker Lauren Friend led blocks with five, and junior defensive specialist Sara Utsugi led with 14 digs.
“I believe that confidence isn’t created, but brought into the court,” McGill said. “Each individual has a job on the team to bring energy with them upon entering the court in order to maintain the kind of environment we want to have while playing.”
Chapman faces a big matchup against first place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which the team beat 3-2 in the first round of SCIAC play.
“The goal for this Friday is to come together and put the past games behind us to play hard like we did against them the first time,” McGill said.
In light of the 9,000-acre Anaheim Hills brush fire, the team has not had to cancel or postpone any practices or matches.
“As a team, we have been really supportive of the girls who have been affected from the fires, but at the same time, we’ve been consistent with holding practices and trying to keep the same focus while playing despite all that’s happening outside of the gym,” McGill said.
The next women’s volleyball game will be at home at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 against California Lutheran University.