Women’s Volleyball faces Cal Lutheran in playoffs

After the Panthers final win locked in a playoff spot, the women’s volleyball team won an upset victory against No. 10 Southwestern University in the 2011 NCAA Volleyball Regional competition, improving its record to 24-8 and moving the team to the second round today.

Chapman will play host team California Lutheran University at 6 p.m. in Thousand Oaks today. The Panthers lost earlier this season to the Regals 3-1. If Chapman wins this match, they will face the winner of Occidental-Colorado College in St. Louis, Mo. as part of the sweet 16.

The Panthers pulled a surprise victory, beating the favored Pirates in four sets, (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21) setting a school record for wins in Division-III with 24. The last time the team won more games was in coach Mary Cahill’s first season, when the team won 27 games in 1989.

Captain junior outside hitter and libero Alyssa Swatek felt the team had the advantage of surprise. She turned in a gritty performance with a season high 40 digs.

“We were definitely the under dogs this game, the other team had no idea who we were,” she said.

Although the scores were close, Chapman held the lead during the first two sets, taking a commanding lead.

Chapman junior outside hitter Kate Ferrin dominated through all four sets, finishing with 16 kills. The game ended with Chapman barely leading in kills 53 to 52. Chapman also led with 120 digs to the Pirates 108.

“Going into this, we had momentum from the last couple of games,” Swatek said. “It’s a great feeling since the other team is ranked nationally.”

After losing the third set (20-25), Chapman came within three points of fumbling away the fourth set. They fought for the win (25-21) and took the game.

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