The women’s volleyball team improved its overall record to 22-8 and home record to 5-1 Friday night. The Panthers beat the Arizona Christian University Firestorm 3-0 at the Harold Hutton Sports Center and Pomona-Pitzer 3-1 on the road.
The wins marked another important step toward the Panthers’ goal of notching a 23-9 record this season to tie their 1994 NCAA Division III record. The best record Chapman volleyball put together was 27-6 in 1989 as a club sport during Mary Cahill’s first year in the head coach position.
“We are playing well as a team and that’s what you hope for,” Cahill said.
Chapman kept its momentum after winning three of four in its last tournament, sweeping Arizona Christian 25-15, 25-17 and 25-13.
After achieving their 20th win– something that has not been done since the 23-9 season – at its tournament in Colorado, the Panthers set their eyes on their next goal of beating the Firestorm.
“We just work on playing,” Cahill said. “It’s all about repetition practice.” The women’s offense showed its strength again as it jumped out to large leads in each set to carry the team to the sweep. The Panthers outscored the Firestorm in kills 49 to 28.
Junior Kate Ferrin, junior Ashleigh Gideon and sophomore Lena Buckendorf, outside hitters, led the team and propelled Chapman’s offense. Ferrin Gideon and Buckendorf recorded 14, 17 and nine kills, respectively. Sophomore setter Corrine Ostrovsky contributed with 41 assists in the game.
“We came out with a lot of energy,” said freshman middle blocker Val Geiger. “We really want to get to 23 wins.”
Arizona Christian showed signs of fight in the second set. The Firestorm kept up with Chapman up to 14-14, but the Panther offense sparked and quickly ended the set 25-17.
Chapman’s defense also proved tough with 88 digs compared to Arizona Christian’s 68. Led by senior libero Alyssa Swatek with 21 digs, Chapman’s defense allowed the Panthers to keep each set under control and cruise to the sweep.
The women looked to take their momentum on the road as they visited Pomon-Pitzer Saturday, dominating the Sagehens.
“Pomona and us have always been big rivals. We want it more,” said senior middle blocker Nalani Haviland.
Chapman will take its four-game winning streak into its last game of the season, a home matchup with the Royals of Hope International University on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. The 5-19 Royals are the last obstacle from that magic number of wins, 23.