Volleyball’s postseason hopes erased by Pomona

Chapman sophomore setter, Jade Santos blocks against Occidental Tigers on Oct. 31st. The Panthers won 3-1.

Chapman sophomore setter, Jade Santos blocks against Occidental Tigers on Oct. 31st. The Panthers won 3-1.

The Chapman volleyball team saw its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) playoff hopes come to an end Tuesday, losing a must-win away match against Pomona-Pitzer 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23).

While Tuesday’s loss mathematically eliminated the Panthers from postseason contention, Chapman managed to win its final home match Friday night against Occidental 3-1 and ended its season with a 3-0 loss at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Saturday.

“Unfortunately, last night (against Pomona) we did not play to our potential,” said senior outside-hitter Michele Hammer. “Since we first played Pomona we have improved tremendously, so I think maybe some of us thought we would sweep them in three.”

Against Pomona, 14 attack errors in the opening set made things difficult for the Panthers, who struggled to regain momentum for the remainder of the first two sets.

Though Chapman managed to tie up the third set 23-23, back-to-back points for Pomona ended the match, and Chapman’s postseason aspirations.

The Sagehens claimed victory on the back of senior outside hitter Allie Frappier, who had a match-high 20 kills.

For the Panthers, Hammer led the team with 12 kills. Sophomore defensive specialist Jade Santos added 33 assists to the Panthers’ efforts.

“We didn’t have as much passion or fire on the court than we have had in matches previous,” Hammer said. “I am extremely upset about the loss, and disappointed that we couldn’t bring it together and play for the playoff spot.”

Santos echoed Hammer’s assessment of the match.

“Last night’s match was definitely the toughest loss to swallow since it knocked us out of the playoffs,” Santos said. “It was really disappointing for all of us. We definitely did not play to our potential and I think that’s what made it hurt more.”

The Panthers were able to claim victory Friday during the team’s senior night, which served as the final home game for six of the Panthers’ veteran players. After dropping the first set 28-26, the 

Panthers roared back, claiming three sets in a row, 25-23, 25-17, 25-12, to win.

Frisina had a career high 10 assists and 40 digs, while Hammer clocked in an impressive double-double with 16 kills and 19 digs. Senior middle-blocker Kate Marusich had a match-high 17 kills while Geiger added 11. Geiger will finish her Chapman career with 1,150 kills, which ranks second in school history.

“I’m so glad we were able to win for our seniors in their last home game,” Santos said. “I feel that we played really well as a unit and had a lot of fun in the court. We played for our seniors and wanted to give them a great last home match to remember and be proud of.”

However, the Panthers were unable to carry their momentum into Saturday’s final SCIAC match against Claremont, losing 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-13). Geiger had a team-high eight kills in what was an otherwise tame performance from the Panthers. The result means that the Panthers’ final record for the 2014 season will stand at 6-9 in conference, 8-18 overall.

“I think we fought hard in our loss to Claremont,” Santos said. “They’re a really good team, but we stayed right there with them for most of the match. I’m proud of how the team played, even though we couldn’t pull out the win.”

Leave a Comment