The University of Redlands women's volleyball team took to the road on Tuesday for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match against the Pomona-Pitzer Colleges Sagehens. While battling in an incredibly tight showdown, the Bulldogs came up short by a combined six points over the three sets, resulting in scores of 25-27, 25-27, 23-25.
Redlands jumped out to an early lead in the opening set with sophomore outside hitter Kaylee Burdick (Sun Valley, CA) and freshman middle hitter Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) setting the tone with kills. The Sagehens fought to tie it up at 10-all, with the Bulldogs' offense cooling off in the process. A back-and-forth battle ensued, before Redlands held off set point with a well-timed kill by Olsson. She and freshman outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, CA) initiated the slight turn in the tide with a monster block during the preceding rally. However, Pomona-Pitzer went on to convert the opening-frame victory moments later.
After breaking a 20-all tie in the second set with a 4-1 run, Redlands had its chances to tie things up in the match scoring. During this short stretch, senior setter Ellie McLeod (Redlands, CA) orchestrated the offense through Burdick and freshman middle hitter Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA), who each found hardwood at critical junctures. Unfortunately for the Maroon and Gray, the Sagehens' offense got back on track at just the right time by firing off four kills in the final six points to hold off the Bulldogs.
The momentum stayed with the home team during the third set, as Redlands trailed at 4-5 and never recovered. The Bulldogs battled to keep it close and even cut a five-point deficit down to one, but it wasn't enough.
McLeod finished with 21 assists, with Casey serving as her top target with eight kills. Olsson added seven and Burdick tossed in six.
Overall, the team blocked well, amassing seven total blocks. Olsson contributed five block assists. In addition, McLeod led the defensive effort with 13 digs, while junior libero Abigail Hickman (Phoenix, AZ) and Burdick each supplied 10.
Redlands (8-4, 1-3 SCIAC) strives to return to the win column on Saturday, September 24, when it hosts Caltech at 1 p.m. and then UC Santa Cruz at 5 p.m. in Currier Gym.