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U of R Volleyball Splits in Doubleheader Action, Nabs First Win of the Season

#8 Morgan Buckner (de la Cruz)

The University of Redlands volleyball team halted its season-opening skid with Friday's three-set sweep over Caltech in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action. The Bulldogs uncorked an impressive hitting percentage of .338 and fired off 13 aces en route to the 25-16, 25-7, 25-8 victory in Currier Gym.

Redlands jumped out to an early lead in the opening set and kept its opponents at bay through the final whistle.

The second stanza saw the Bulldogs unleash 15 consecutive points with sophomore libero Courtney Johnson (Dana Point, CA) at the service line. She recorded three of her team-leading five aces during this stretch.

Redlands kept the momentum on its side in the final frame by garnering a four point lead, which continued its hot streak to 19 straight points. The Beavers fought to tie it up at four-all, but sophomore outside hitter Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA) served off four points in a row for a Maroon and Gray lead that held up through the end of the match.

The Bulldogs posted a hitting performance of .435 in the final frame to finish off the Beavers in fine fashion.

Overall, Buckner led the Bulldog offense with 11 kills on 27 attempts for a solid clip of .333. Senior outside hitter Dorothy Catanese (Corona, CA) added five put-aways on just seven opportunities, registering a .714 attack percentage.

Sophomore setter Jennifer Wacker (Longmont, CO) distributed a match-high 13 assists to go along with her three aces.

Ashley Lo tallied 13 digs for Caltech (0-6, 0-2 SCIAC).

Earlier tonight, the Bulldogs also faced off against Chapman University in a non-conference bout. Despite coming out strong in the opening set, Redlands suffered a four-set loss to the Panthers, 25-23, 14-25, 18-25, 11-25.

Kate Ferrin and Ashleigh Gideon led the Chapman (10-5) attack with 19 and 15 kills, respectively. Corrine Ostrovsky dished out 53 assists, while Alyssa Swatek provided 30 digs.

The Maroon and Gray struggled offensively, posting a team clip of only .099 with its best showing of .211 coming in the third stanza. Buckner again led the Bulldogs with 11 kills but on 53 attempts. Johnson supplied a solid performance as the team's libero, recording 24 digs in the process.

Redlands (1-8, 1-1 SCIAC) heads to No. 15 Cal Lutheran University on Saturday for a 6 p.m. showdown with the Regals in Thousand Oaks.