Redlands Volleyball Falls Short against Whittier College
The University of Redlands volleyball team returned to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Saturday with a home tilt against the Poets of Whittier College. With a showdown between the seventh- and eighth-place teams, an exciting match ensued but went in favor of the visitors in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-14.
Redlands maintained its momentum from last night's win over Mills College with a hot start to the opening stanza. While putting together a solid offensive effort, the Bulldogs also benefitted from the Poets' hitting woes for a 10-5 lead. During this string of points, senior outside hitter Sam Dodson (Alamogordo, NM) and junior outside hitter Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA) led the Maroon and Gray effort by combining for all four of the team's kills.
However, the Poets came storming back, eventually tying it up at 10 apiece.
A back-and-forth battle ensued with neither squad gaining more than a three-point lead. Whittier forced a 17-14 advantage but Redlands clawed its way back to force another knotted score at 20-all.
Nonetheless, the Poets remained steady as the Bulldogs fell out of rhythm, resulting in the 25-22 tally.
With a tighter beginning to the second set, both teams struggled to pull away as they traded punches both offensively and defensively.
Finally tied at 20, Redlands appeared to be headed for a victory when it mustered three straight points. Buckner capped off the Bulldog run with one of her team-high eight kills.
However, Whittier answered right back with aggressive serving and an effective offense, sealing the win with five consecutive points of its own.
Unfortunately for the Maroon and Gray, the third frame was all Whittier, which unleashed a match-high .414 hitting percentage to go along with multiple service aces.
In addition to Buckner, Redlands gained seven kills from freshman middle blocker Ashton Martin (Redlands, CA). She also added three block assists, helping her team to register 7.5 total blocks. Freshman middle blocker Marisa Gile (Yucaipa, CA) added to the solid net defense with three block assists of her own.
Whittier (9-15, 4-9 SCIAC) gained a match-high 17 kills from Alayna Rigo, while Lauren Whiteman backed her with 11 put-aways.
Redlands (7-13, 2-11 SCIAC) takes on No. 8 Cal Lutheran University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Currier Gym.