The University of Redlands women's volleyball team traveled to Whittier College for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match against the Poets on Tuesday evening. After securing a 25-21 victory in the opening set, the Bulldogs struggled to maintain their momentum and fell in the remaining three sets, 22-25, 23-25, 19-25.
Redlands battled to victory in the first frame by utilizing a proficient offense that was firing at a rate of .300. With kills by sophomore outside hitter Kaylee Burdick (Sun Valley, CA), freshman opposite Megan Houston (Normandy Park, WA), and freshman outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) sprinkled throughout the stanza, the Bulldogs clawed their way to a 19-all tie. With back-to-back aces by senior defensive specialist Alex Michel (Loma Linda, CA), Redlands jumped ahead by three points at 22-19. Freshman middle hitter Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) bookended the next four rallies by finding hardwood on a pair of kills, as the Bulldogs' tenacious defense forced the Poets into a late error, resulting in the Maroon and Gray's 25-21 win.
The ensuing sets provided great rallies and additional back-and-forth competition between the teams. Unfortunately for Redlands, late-stanza runs by the Poets provided the key differences in the final outcome of the match.
Overall, Olsson fired off a match-high 17 kills at a .289 clip to pace the Maroon and Gray's offense. Freshman middle hitter Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA) added 10 kills, while senior setter Ellie McLeod (Redlands, CA) dished out 33 assists.
Redlands (10-5, 2-4 SCIAC) heads to Chapman University on Saturday, October 1, for a 4 p.m. clash with the Panthers.