Volleyball splits weekend’s games

Senior outside hitter Michele Hammer and sophomore middle blocker Ellen Cleveland go up for a block while sophomore setter Jade Santos looks on against Redlands. The Panthers won 3-0 Oct. 14. Photo by Kate DeSalvo.

Senior outside hitter Michele Hammer and sophomore middle blocker Ellen Cleveland go up for a block while sophomore setter Jade Santos looks on against Redlands. The Panthers won 3-0 Oct. 14. Photo by Kate DeSalvo.

The Chapman volleyball team (6-14, 5-5) split its Friday and Saturday night matches, losing to UC Santa Cruz 3-0 (20-15, 23-25, 16-25) in a non-league contest and then defeating Caltech in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match 3-0 (25-3, 25-5, 25-13).

The home loss to UC Santa Cruz (15-5) was the Panthers’ second loss to the Banana Slugs this season. Santa Cruz’s Sandra Gutierrez, Kim Rabii and Kellie Graves contributed 29 combined kills throughout the match. Gutierrez led her side individually with twelve kills.

“It (the game against UC Santa Cruz) came down to the fact that they made the least mistakes and kept the ball in play,” Santos said. “I think that it was nice for us to be able to have a break from conference, but the loss still hurt the same. It definitely helped us figure out what we need to clean up in practice before continuing with conference games.”

The Panthers were finished by UC Santa Cruz runs, such as the five-point streak that the Banana Slugs strung together to pull away at the end of an otherwise close second set.

Senior middle blocker Val Geiger led the Panthers with thirteen kills, and sophomore setter Jade Santos added 30 assists and seventeen digs to her team’s efforts.

“It (the game against UC Santa Cruz) came down to the fact that they made the least mistakes and kept the ball in play,” Santos said. “I think that it was nice for us to be able to have a break from conference, but the loss still hurt the same. It definitely helped us figure out what we need to clean up in practice before continuing with conference games.”

Chapman responded to the loss by defeating Caltech Saturday night by sizable margins in each set (25-3, 25-5, 25-13).

Sophomore outside hitter Casey Brown contributed a team-high six kills and Cheri Raymundo added five as the Panthers bombarded Caltech from all over the court. Santos added a team-high eighteen assists to help the Panthers back to a .500 record in SCIAC play.

“We were able to play really well together against Caltech,” Santos said. “We kept the ball in play and served really well. I hope that we are able to build momentum from this win. Everything flowed really well on the court from the serves to the hits. It’s really nice to see everyone work well together.”

The Panthers will try to keep their positive momentum going and improve on their 2-4 home record when they next host La Verne in a SCIAC match Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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