Women’s volleyball defeats Pomona-Pitzer in conference opener

21385881238_f397fe8c66_oThe Chapman women’s volleyball team showed its resiliency Friday night as the Panthers captured a five-game victory over Pomona-Pitzer. The team closed out a tough match over the disappointed visitors with a strong finish, in what could have easily been a nightmare loss for the Panthers in their first conference game of the season.

Chapman (4-3) seemed to be in control from the outset, taking the first two games with relative ease, 25-17 and 25-22. The Panthers then lost the next two sets, and were forced to dig themselves out of a hole caused by the 24-26 and 22-25 losses in the third and fourth games.

The apparent ease in the first two games may have been the cause of Chapman’s let down in the following games.

“Whenever you win the first two sets, there’s usually going to be a let down,” said head coach Mary Cahill. “We very easily could have lost.”

Chapman showed some of its best and worst qualities Friday night, but it was ultimately the Panthers’ composure and ability to kill efficiently that secured the victory.

Sophomore right side hitter Kylie Cooke and sophomore middle blocker Ali Robinson were instrumental in Chapman’s attacking, knocking down 20 and 12 kills, respectively, out of 41 and 25 chances.

This efficiency was ever-present in the final game, as Chapman rebounded after being outclassed in hitting percentage in the third and fourth games. Regardless of the path Chapman took to get the victory, the women felt positive about the outcome of the match, dealing a previously 5-0 Pomona team its first loss of the season.

Robinson said the key to Chapman’s victory was a result of their control. She said that the five-set was positive, especially for the rest of the season.

“Coming into the fifth game, it can be really difficult, and your team can be really tired, and our control really helps us for further teams who may be even tougher opponents,” she said.

Robinson admitted that having 10 new players makes things a bit back and forth. However, she said the composure the team showed is evidence that the team is playing as a cohesive unit and could prove invaluable in the future.

Cahill said the team’s passing was one of its strong points, especially in the first two sets. After what she referred to as a “let-down” in the third and fourth sets, it was “serving tough” in the fifth game, which allowed the Panthers to close out a tough conference match with a 15-6 finish.

Robinson said that the positivity that the women showed throughout the match was evident of their confidence and skill.

Robinson said that the strength of the team’s setters and the ability of substitutes to come in ready off the bench would pay huge dividends for the team down the line.

Cahill said she’s well aware of the tough matches ahead.

“We need to be more consistent,” she said. “Consistency is going to be key for the rest of the year.”

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