U of R Volleyball Stumbles to Occidental College
The University of Redlands volleyball team returned home to Currier Gym on Tuesday night but suffered a three-set loss to the visiting Tigers of Occidental College in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) competition. Despite some incredible rallies that often ended with a big block or stellar attack, the Bulldogs came up short in the 13-25, 24-26, 13-25 decision.
After what seemed like a closer opening stanza than the score reflected, the Maroon and Gray rallied for a solid display in the second frame. The Tigers jumped out to an early 5-2 lead and eventually sat on top at 16-12. Tough play by junior outside hitter Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA) helped to lift the Bulldogs to a 17-all tie, as she notched a kill and two service aces during this stretch.
The squads continued to trade punches, countering earned points with forced errors.
The Bulldogs finally took the lead at 21-20, when senior outside hitter Sam Dodson (Alamogordo, NM) knocked down a kill.
Moments later, Occidental held a 23-21 advantage and appeared to be on cruise control for the second-set victory.
However, the Bulldogs came storming back to tie it up at 23, as sophomore middle blocker Maddi Clark (Escondido, CA) crushed a kill and then joined forces with sophomore right-side hitter Jackie Starks (Long Beach, CA) for a huge block.
Back-and-forth play ensued until the Tigers gained consecutive kills to nab the hard-fought 26-24 tally.
Overall, freshman middle blocker Ashton Martin (Redlands, CA) led the Bulldog offense with eight kills, while Buckner added seven and Clark chipped in six.
For Occidental (12-4, 5-3 SCIAC), senior outside hitter Logan Boyer-Hayse (Boulder, CO) shined with 14 kills, with senior outside hitter Kasey Rose (Los Olivos, CA) adding 13. Junior libero Madyson Cassidy (Arcadia, CA) provided a match-high 23 digs and junior setter Jessie Altman (La Jolla, CA) came up with 34 assists.
Redlands (5-9, 1-7 SCIAC) continues a tough stretch of SCIAC matches with Saturday's showdown against tied-for-first-place Chapman University at 1 p.m. in Currier Gym.