Redlands Volleyball Drops Three-Setter to No. 8 Cal Lutheran
The University of Redlands volleyball team had its hands full on Tuesday night when it faced off against eighth-ranked Cal Lutheran University in Currier Gym. Amidst high-flying digs, impressive blocks, and long rallies, the Bulldogs battled through the very end but missed out on the upset in straight sets, 20-25, 16-25, 20-25.
With a back-and-forth start, Redlands vied for opportunities in the opening set, leading to a five-all tie. During this stretch, the Bulldogs put up a formidable block, earning two points on impressive walls that included senior outside hitter Sam Dodson (Alamogordo, NM).
However, the Regal offense found its rhythm to create a four-point lead that it managed to maintain through the final tally.
The second stanza saw much of the same as Cal Lutheran put together an early advantage on a solid .333 hitting percentage and never looked back.
Redlands gained a bright spot when it rallied for six consecutive points with junior outside hitter Morgan Buckner (San Rafael, CA) at the service line to make it, 12-18.
But the comeback was short-lived, as the Regals enjoyed a 7-4 run to finish out the stanza.
Despite facing a two-set deficit, Redlands performed admirably in the third frame, forcing the Regals to make play after play while holding them to a .143 attacking clip.
The Bulldogs pushed ahead to a 7-4 lead and then again at 8-7 by taking advantage of a streaky Cal Lutheran squad.
Nonetheless, the Regals took control at 17-11, thanks to an effective offense that included big-time kills from junior middle blocker Lauren Rohach (Moorpark, CA).
But the Maroon and Gray refused to go away, extending rallies with impressive defensive plays and finding the hardwood for the hard-earned points. Redlands cut its hole to three on multiple occasions but never overcame the deficit, leading to the three-set sweep against the nationally ranked foe from Thousand Oaks.
Overall, the Maroon and Gray blocked well, notching 7.5 blocks on the night. Freshman middle blocker Marisa Gile (Yucaipa, CA) contributed five block assists and Dodson came up with four.
Cal Lutheran's (22-4, 13-1 SCIAC) offense was paced by Rohach, who registered 11 kills at a .500 clip.
Redlands (7-14, 2-12 SCIAC) hosts Pomona-Pitzer Colleges for Senior Night on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Currier Gym.