The University of Redlands women's volleyball team hit the road for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match against the No. 24 University of La Verne on Friday night. Despite keeping things close in each set, the Bulldogs fell short of the upset in a 19-25, 18-25, 17-25 decision.
During the opening stanza, the score remained close in the early goings, as sophomore setter Emily Marty (Chula Vista, CA) found sophomore outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) for the Bulldogs' first point of the game before sophomore middle hitter Sofia Olson (Cupertino, CA) found hardwood to make it, 2-2. The teams traded put-aways for a 3-3 tally, with sophomore right-side hitter Megan Houston (Normandy Park, WA) knocking one down for the Maroon and Gray.
After another Casey kill, sophomore outside hitter Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL) served up an ace while a La Verne error put Redlands in front by a score of 7-4.
However, the Leopards quickly regrouped to overtake the Bulldogs at 8-7 and then orchestrated a seven-point spurt to create some distance.
Although the Bulldogs clawed their way back to make it 17-18 on the heels of quality kills, big blocks, and multiple La Verne miscues, the home team managed another scoring run that resulted in a 25-19 tally in the first set.
Redlands jumped out to a slight 6-3 lead in the second set, thanks in part to the relentless defense of freshman libero Emily Vankoll (Moraga, CA) and well-timed blocks by Olsson, Casey, Fyda, and sophomore middle hitter Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA).
A quick run by the Leopards evened the tally at six before back-and-forth play ensued, which led to another knotted score at nine apiece. Junior setter Jackie Andrade (Seattle, WA) played a pivotal role during this stretch with an ace and an assist to Houston.
The teams traded short scoring sequences, with the Leopards earning the edge on the final one for the 25-18 win.
During the third set, La Verne gained an early lead and never looked back, resulting in the sweep. However, the Bulldogs showed great resilience by rattling off six-straight points at match-point down, with Tafoya starting the rally with a big-time, solo block. A run of ULV errors that were inspired by freshman defensive specialist Ally Busch's (Long Beach, CA) tough serving gave the Bulldogs new life, but it was not enough to complete the comeback.
Overall, Fyda and Casey each tallied six kills for the Maroon and Gray. Marty dished out 15 assists and Vankoll supplied eight digs.
Redlands (6-12, 2-8 SCIAC) faces a quick turnaround by hosting Chapman University on Saturday, October 14, for a SCIAC match at 2 p.m. in Currier Gym.