Bulldog Volleyball Stumbles to First-Place La Verne
The University of Redlands volleyball team traveled to face the first-place Leopards of the University of La Verne on Friday night and came away with a three-set defeat. The Bulldogs battled admirably in the first stanza but struggled to maintain their rhythm in the subsequent frames, falling by scores of 22-25, 18-25, 12-25.
After facing an early six-point deficit in the opening game, the Maroon and Gray clawed its way back into the set with a strong offense that fired off a match-high clip of .235. With six different players finding the hardwood, the Bulldogs benefitted from a well-balanced attack. Junior setter Alisha Cornick (Hollister, CA) and junior outside Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA) made for a lethal combination, recording seven of the team's 12 kills in the first set.
Down at 20-23, Redlands gained a timely put-away by Buckner, followed by a service ace by Cornick.
However, the Leopards looked to the offensive prowess of Randi Taylor-Toomay to seal the opening victory with back-to-back kills.
The second set saw a tighter battle, with the teams earning knotted scores at multiple points through 14-all. However, the Bulldog offense faced a cold stretch, as Buckner was the only player to record a kill in the final half of the frame.
Unfortunately for Redlands, the momentum remained with the Leopards, who stayed the course for the three-set sweep.
Buckner led all players with 13 kills as one of two competitors with more than 10. Freshman middle blocker Ashton Martin (Redlands, CA) chipped in six kills and Cornick dished out 16 assists for the Bulldogs. Junior libero Brittney Overgaag (Palm Desert, CA) provided 12 digs.
Redlands (6-11, 2-9 SCIAC) continues its road-stint with a 7:30 p.m. match at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Tuesday. The Athenas currently sit in fifth place in the SCIAC standings with a 5-5 mark.