The women’s volleyball team (22-5, 14-2) beat Pomona-Pitzer in three sets Saturday, as the Panthers move into the SCIAC tournament with momentum in spite of losing home court advantage to Cal Lutheran earlier in the week.
The women dominated in each set with scores of 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 against Pomona-Pitzer.
“We got to put a lot of players in that don’t get a lot of playing time and we were able to get a real confidence boost out of the game,” said junior outside hitter McKenna Roice.
Senior outside hitter Ashleigh Gideon had a standout performance, finishing the game with 12 kills and eight digs. Junior libero Carleigh Mueller contributed 25 digs in the win.
It was a welcomed return to winning ways coming off Friday night’s loss to Cal Lutheran.
The three set sweep dropped the Panthers out of first place in the SCIAC standings.
On the night that Chapman’s seniors were recognized for their hard work and dedication, the team failed to come out strong and wasn’t able to keep up with the tempo of the Regals, falling 25-18, 25-20 and 28-26. The loss marked the end to both the Panthers’ nine game winning streak and 13 home game unbeaten streak.
“They came out really strong and we weren’t able to match them,” Gideon said. “We weren’t all on the same page and weren’t ready for them.”
Cal Lutheran’s sophomore outside hitter Kylie McLogan proved to be unstoppable against the Panther defense, recording a game-high 18 kills. She was an imposing figure on the court, as Chapman was unable to defend her spikes.
At times Chapman appeared to be confused, not playing with the kind of energy fans expected to see. “We weren’t focused and didn’t play to our potential,” Roice said. “We played not to lose and can’t afford to play like that.”
Cal Lutheran was able to suppress Chapman’s comeback attempts. In the second set, the Panthers put together a string of kills to put themselves in position to take the set. Yet the Regals’ hitting and Panthers’ inability to block at the net proved costly, and they fell 25-20.
Chapman recognized seniors Gideon, middle blocker Kate Ferrin, outside hitter Jenny Gibson and middle blocker Laura Posada. Despite the loss, the four seniors have impacted the team far beyond one game. “The seniors mean the world to me and I’ve loved every minute of my time here,” Gibson said. “I’m so glad we did so well but I’m sad that it’s over.”
While the loss drops the Panthers out of first place, they can’t afford to dwell on it with the SCIAC tournament next week.
“We just have to move on and play the way we’ve played all season,” said Head Coach Mary Cahill.
The team will play La Verne in the first round of the SCIAC tournament Thursday at Cal Lutheran.