The University of Redlands women's volleyball team made the trek to Thousand Oaks for the Cal-Lu-Fornia Invite at Cal Lutheran University on Friday and secured a pair of wins to improve to 5-1 on the season. First, the Bulldogs rallied back to defeat Whitman College (WA) in five sets before sweeping UC Santa Cruz in a solid outing.
Against Whitman, Redlands grabbed the opening set but then fell in the subsequent two sets to face an uphill battle. However, with Head Coach Lisa Lindberg making some key switches, the Bulldogs rallied all the way to back to secure the five-set victory, 25-21 20-25, 13-25, 25-22, 15-8. No statistics were available at the time of posting.
Tough serving proved to be a key component, as sophomore defensive specialist Emily Vankoll (Moraga, CA) initiated nine points in a row from the service line during the opening set, which propelled the Bulldogs from a 16-21 deficit to victory.
When first-year setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA) stepped up as the primary setter in a 5-1 rotation, the Maroon and Gray found its offensive rhythm and completed the five-set rally.
Against UC Santa Cruz, the Maroon and Gray cruised to a straight-set showing, 25-19, 25-17, 25-11, with the offense erupting for a .300 hitting percentage in the final two stanzas. Junior outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) remained steady with her attack by uncorking a .389 effort with a team-high eight kills. First-year outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) found hardwood on seven occasions to highlight the success of the Bulldogs' 19-person rotation in the match.
Redlands returns to the Cal-Lu-Fornia Invite on Saturday, September 8, with matches at 1 and 3 p.m. First, the Bulldogs take on Willamette University (OR) and then square off against Hardin-Simmons University (TX).