The women’s volleyball team bounced back from a Tuesday loss to Cal State San Marcos (17-8) 3-1, to win back-to-back conference games against Claremont Mudd-Scripps 3-2 and Redlands 3-0.
The Panthers (14-4, 8-1) now sit a half game behind University of La Verne, whom the Panthers will play Saturday at home, in the SCIAC standings.
“[The conference championship] is on all of our minds,” said junior setter Corrine Ostrovsky. “We can’t wait to play La Verne (16-2, 9-1).”
Chapman completed the season sweep of Claremont in a hard fought victory over the Athenas, 3-2 Friday. Claremont was able to bump Chapman out of its rhythm, and kept the Panthers in check for the first three sets. Chapman trailed 2-1, only winning the second set by five points.
From that point on, it was all Panthers as they won back-to-back sets clinching the win.
“Coming from behind like that shows our drive to win as a team,” said junior outside hitter Lena Buckendorf. “There was no way we could let them win.”
Chapman was leading because of a near record-setting performance by Ostrovsky, who came within one assist of the school record with 67, while sophomore middle back Val Geiger and senior outside hitter Ashleigh Gideon both set career bests with 23 kills. Buckendorf also added a double-double with 16 digs and 10 kills.
The Saturday win against Redlands (5-10, 1-8) came much easier, as the Panthers rolled in straight sets, including a dominating second set where they held the Bulldogs to just 8 points.
“It was a big test playing a five-set game on Friday night and coming back and playing early on Saturday,” Ostrovsky said. “ But once we got through a tough first set, we cruised.”
The loss to Cal State San Marcos was just Chapman’s third loss in 10 games.
“They just fought harder than we did,” said senior middle back Laura Posada.
The Panthers got off on the wrong foot, dropping the first set 25-16, but were able to rally back winning the second set 25-19.
“They came out really strong, and we dug a hole for ourselves that we could not recover from,” Posada said.
The Cougars ended up being too much to handle and won each of the next two sets, 25-20 and 25-18, with a set that included 16 kills to wrap up the win.
“They passed really well and served really well,” said junior libero Carleigh Mueller. “They are a very strong team.”
In this out of conference match, the Panthers were led by senior middle back Kate Ferrin with 12 kills, Posada with 10 kills, and Mueller who led the team with 23 digs. Posada also had two aces.
The players understand the loss should be used as a learning experience.
“We are taking things one game at a time, always trying to get better, with our sights set on a conference title,” Buckendorf said.
The next game for the Panthers is today at the Hutton Sports Center against Hope International University at 7 p.m.