Women’s volleyball racks up ninth straight win

The women’s volleyball team pushed its impressive winning streak to nine games with a tight victory over Whittier in five sets Tuesday night. The victory keeps the Panthers tied for first place with Cal Lutheran in the SCIAC.

Chapman (21-4, 13-1) seemed lost at times against a resilient Whittier team (9-16, 4-10) bent on knocking off the Panthers.

“Everyone’s gunning for us now, and we needed to come out stronger than we did,” said junior libero Lauren Schour.

Chapman won the first and third sets before taking home the victory in the fifth (27-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 and 15-7).

Throughout the season the Panthers have relied on their dominant offense to get ahead early and hold strong leads.

“We weren’t prepared for their intensity,” said right side hitter junior McKenna Roice. “We learned that we have to be consistent no matter who we’re playing.”

Led by a strong performance by senior outside hitter Ashleigh Gideon with 20 kills, the Panthers came together in the final set.

“Everyone was excited and pumped because we knew it was now or never,” Schour said. “The fifth game was just amazing.”

With the win, the Panthers improved to 13-1 in the SCIAC as tournament play lurks around the corner.

Before the Panthers finish off the regular season, they face Cal Lutheran in a matchup of the top two SCIAC teams. The last time they met, Chapman controlled the pace of the game and earned a 3-1 victory. The stakes are higher this week, and the Panthers are preparing for a battle.

“We’re practicing really hard and trying to get mentally prepared for a tough game,” said sophomore middle blocker Val Geiger.

The Panthers welcome Cal Lutheran to the Hutton Sports Center Friday for a 7:30 p.m. match.

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