Bulldog Volleyball Sends off Seniors with Competitive Battle against La Verne
The University of Redlands volleyball team wrapped up the 2011 season with a hard-fought match against the visiting Leopards of the University of La Verne during Tuesday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action in Currier Gym. With the excitement of Senior Night and the support of an enthusiastic crowd, the Bulldogs battled it out to the very end but fell short in straight sets, 21-25, 22-25, 23-25.
After honoring senior outside hitter Dorothy Catanese (Corona, CA) and senior right-side hitter Alex Martin (Highlands Ranch, CO) in a short pre-match ceremony, Redlands hoped to celebrate their contributions with a season-finale victory. However, La Verne had other plans.
The teams traded blows to eventually tie it up at 10-all in the opening set. The Leopards held the upper hand at 14-11 but the Maroon and Gray fought back to knot the score at 16 and again at 17. During this span, Maddi Clark contributed back-to-back blocks by teaming up with Martin on one and then with Sam Dodson on the other.
With La Verne edging out the Bulldogs at 22-20, the momentum seemed to shift back in favor of the U of R when Catanese crushed a kill down the line to cut the deficit to one. Unfortunately, the Leopards' setter went down on the play, forcing a timeout and an unforeseen substitution by ULV's Head Coach Jenna Panatier.
However, Redlands struggled to take advantage of the lineup switch as La Verne prevailed by a score of 25-21.
The second stanza was very similar to the first, with La Verne capturing an early lead only to see the Bulldogs rally back to tie it up nine and again at 16.
A back-and-forth battle ensued with the teams both struggling to earn points but rather benefitted from each other's errors.
UR's junior middle blocker Alexa Herlosky (Henderson, NV) provided consecutive kills to eventually tie it up at 22-all.
La Verne responded with a quick kill by junior middle blocker Catie Logan (Beaverton, OR) while taking advantage of a pair of Redlands errors, which led to the 25-22 second-set score for the Leopards.
The Bulldogs faced an early four-point deficit in the third frame, but they finally responded with the same energy as their crowd, benefitting from five consecutive kills to eventually even the score at seven apiece. Four of sophomore outside hitter Morgan Buckner's (San Rafael, CA) kills came in this stretch of points.
But the momentum shifted back in favor of the Leopards as they raced out to a 21-13 advantage. ULV stepped it up on offense, recording eight kills in this span of points.
But Redlands was not done yet. With sophomore libero Brittney Overgaag (Palm Desert, CA) and freshman right side Jackie Starks (Long Beach, CA) combining to serve off seven points, the Bulldogs fought to tie it up at 22.
As quickly as the comeback appeared, it was all over too soon. With La Verne uncorking three kills by three different players on the final four plays, Redlands suffered a disappointing 23-25 decision in the third set.
Buckner led the Maroon and Gray with seven kills and 18 digs. While competing in their final collegiate matches, Catanese and Martin tallied three and two kills, respectively.
Sophomore setter Jennifer Wacker (Longmont, CO) dished out 21 assists for the Bulldogs.
La Verne gained a match-high 12 kills from Logan, with junior setter Kendall Kraiss (Huntington Beach, CA) stepping in as the team's ball-distributor with 21 assists.
Among the conference standings, Redlands (3-23, 2-12 SCIAC) finished out the 2011 season in seventh place, while La Verne (17-12, 7-7 SCIAC) came in fifth.