Chapman’s women’s volleyball team had an up and down week, defeating Occidental 3-1 on the road, while losing 3-1 to Pomona-Pitzer at home and getting shut out 3-0 by California Lutheran.
After this week’s games, the team stands sixth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), just one game shy of bumping Whittier from fifth place.
“(The win against Occidental) puts Chapman right back in the competition,” said sophomore middle blocker Ellen Cleveland.
Chapman started its week Tuesday at Cal Lu, who, along with being undefeated in the SCIAC, had only lost two sets in conference play.
Junior outside hitter Michele Hammer noted how the team could improve against the second-ranked team in the nation.
“The thing that hurt us the most was our unforced errors,” Hammer said. “We didn’t make as many in the second set, so the score was much closer.”
Senior libero Andi Frisina said her team worked hard to hold its own against such a strong team
“It was nice to see us get out of the little funk that we were in,” Frisina said. “We’ve played Cal Lu and La Verne, which are the top two teams. I think we’re going do okay.”
Cal Lu set the tone in the first set with a commanding 25-13 win. The Panthers played better in the second set, but lost 25-20.
Ultimately, the Panthers fell to Cal Lu in the third set 25-11. Cleveland said she felt like her team could improve.
“For the third set we needed to stay consistent. But we lacked discipline and consistency,” she said.
Hammer had seven kills during the game and senior middle blocker Val Geiger had six.
After the first round of the conference, the Panthers will play every team again.
“We had a great offense and it took them [Cal Lu] by surprise,” Hammer said.
Frisina said she feels confident that the Panthers can rally in the second round of conference games.
“We can hang with every team we have lost against,” Frisina said.
Cleveland credits the team’s inconsistency to Friday’s loss to Pomona-Pitzer. Chapman won the first set 25-20, but trailed Pomona-Pitzer in the second and third sets, 25-20 and 25-8, respectively.
“We didn’t give up, we fought the whole time and never thought the match was over,” Frisina said.
Regaining some momentum, Chapman rallied for 16 points in the forth set, ultimately losing 25-16 to end the match.
Saturday’s game at Occidental was a different story for the Panthers, winning the first set 25-20, the second 25-23 and the fourth 25-23. In the third set, the Panthers fell to Occidental 25-21. Geiger had 25 kills over the four sets.
“We realized as a team it isn’t about how we play individually, but how we play as a unit,” Hammer said.
The Panthers take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at home Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“It seems like there is equal opportunity for any team to succeed and take conference,” Cleveland said. “And with the win we had tonight, we’re right there with every other team.”