The University of Redlands volleyball team officially opened its season at the Pacific Coast Classic on Friday and Saturday by taking on various NCAA Division III opponents. The Bulldogs swept the competition in fine fashion on day one, but unfortunately, the outcomes were reversed on day two as they dropped two four-set matches.
Redlands squared off against Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) on the season-opener on Friday. The Maroon and Gray came to play and swept the Trailblazers in straight sets. Unfortunately, no other stats are available at this time.
A few hours later, the Bulldogs faced Union College (NY). The team took the first set, 25-22, but dropped the second in a close 19-25 decision. The team battled back to take the next two games in deja vu fashion by recording a pair of 25-22 victories. Junior setter Jackie Andrade (Seattle, WA) looked to sophomore outside hitters Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) and Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL) to shut down the other team, as they each recorded 10 kills. Casey, Fyda, and sophomore middle hitters Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) and Megan Houston (Normandy Park, WA) notched three blocks apiece to stymie the Union offense.
On Saturday, the Maroon and Gray looked to continue its success when it faced off against The College at Brockport (NY) in the teams' first contest of the day. Redlands pushed the first set to its brink but eventually fell by a score of 25-27. Redlands battled back and took the second by a good margin with a 25-11 victory. Although the next two sets were extremely close, Brockport managed to seal the deal with 25-20 and 25-19 decisions. Olsson and Fyda each had 11 kills and three service aces, while senior defensive specialist Abigail Hickman (Phoenix, AZ) supplied 21 digs three aces in a solid effort.
Texas Lutheran University was Redlands' final opponent of the tournament. Although TLU went up two games against the Maroon and Gray, Redlands refused to go away in the third. The Bulldogs earned a 2-1 lead in the third set and never relinquished the lead en route to a 25-18 win. Unfortunately for Redlands, TLU's hitters were on-point in the fourth set, as they upped their hitting percentage to .371, as compared to the Bulldogs' mark of .171. TLU closed out the match with a 25-21 victory.
Redlands (2-2) returns to action on Tuesday, September 12, by traveling to Santa Clarita for a 7 p.m. match against The Master's College before returning home on Saturday, September 16, for the Bulldogs' conference home-opener against the University of La Verne.