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Bulldog Volleyball Stumbles to NYU and No. 14 Cal Lutheran in Saturday Doubleheader

Jackie Starks and Morgan Buckner compete against Cal Lutheran (Photos: Olivia de la Cruz)

The University of Redlands volleyball team battled it out against New York University and No. 14 Cal Lutheran University in a busy slate of action on Saturday in Currier Gym. The Bulldogs rallied to win the third set against the Violets but fell short of the complete comeback in their first outing of the day. The Maroon and Gray's woes continued against the well-rounded Regals in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action, resulting in a three-set defeat to Cal Lutheran.

Redlands played a tight opening set against NYU but struggled to close out the final few points, leading to a 22-25 loss. Momentum stayed on the side of the Violets as they jumped out to an early advantage in the second frame and never looked back en route to their 25-18 victory. NYU uncorked its best hitting performance of the match at .393 during this set, but Redlands was also solid with a .235 showing.

However, the Bulldogs finally erupted with flashes of greatness as they captured a 25-21 win in the third stanza. Redlands made the most of opportunity as the Violets' offense crumbled to a hitting percentage of .050, compared to the Maroon and Gray's clip of .235.

Nonetheless, NYU rallied back to close out the match with a 25-18 decision in the fourth set.

Overall, Redlands gained 13 kills from sophomore outside Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA), who notched her second consecutive match without a hitting error. She registered an impressive attacking percentage of .371 as the team's top performer.

Sophomore setter Jennifer Wacker (Longmont, CO) served as the Bulldogs' ball-distributor in three of the four sets, handing out 25 assists.

The team stepped up with five total blocks, highlighted by freshman right-side hitter Jackie Starks' (Long Beach, CA) three block-assists.

NYU's Sarah Buckingham led all players with 17 kills, while Hope Bogle dished out 49 assists.

In their second match of the day, the Bulldogs struggled to find its offensive rhythm against a diversely effective Regal attack. Cal Lutheran prevailed in straight sets, 25-18, 25-12, 25-21.

CLU controlled the first two stanzas from early on and simply pushed through to the final point.

The Maroon and Gray refused to go away in the third set and clawed its way all the back to within one at 21-22. However, the Regals responded by winning three straight rallies en route to the 25-21 decision.

Sophomore libero Brittney Overgaag (Palm Desert, CA) racked up 20 digs for the Bulldogs.

CLU's Hannah Orlandi racked up a match-high 10 kills in two sets of action, while Jackie Russell and Jena Chavez shared setting responsibilities with 18 assists each.

In other action, Cal Lutheran made quick work of NYU in a 2 p.m. match, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-21, 25-20, 25-16.

Redlands (3-20, 2-9 SCIAC) heads to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against the Sagehens.