Redlands Women's Volleyball Triumphs over Caltech

Photo credit: Mollie Craighead
Photo credit: Mollie Craighead

The University of Redlands women's volleyball team opened the month of October with a 3-1 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) victory over the visiting Caltech Beavers on Tuesday night in Currier Gym.  While utilizing every available player, the Bulldogs cruised through the first two sets and then rallied back to win the match in the fourth by scores of 25-15, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20. 

The Maroon and Gray stormed out to an 8-3 lead in the first set, with sophomore right-side hitter Megan Houston (Normandy Park, WA) scoring the team's first point on a kill.  Sophomore outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) added a pair of kills to keep things rolling, while Redlands' stellar defense minimized Caltech's ability to create any offensive rhythm.

The Bulldogs continued to roll to an 18-7 advantage, as the Beavers struggled with multiple miscues.  Redlands capped off this run with an impressive wall of a block by Houston and freshman middle hitter Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA). 

Tafoya spearheaded the Maroon and Gray's late-set surge with a pair of kills to secure the 25-15 decision for the home team.

While mixing up the starters, the Bulldogs broke open a three-all tie in the second stanza and never looked back en route to the 25-13 victory.  Freshman right-side hitter Marlena Ramanis (Walnut Creek, CA) fired off three kills in four rallies, while sophomore setter Emily Marty (Chula Vista, CA) found hardwood on a crafty play for the Maroon and Gray.  Tafoya and freshman outside hitter Angelina Hughes (Wildomar, CA) topped the six-point scoring spurt with a dominating block that forced a Caltech timeout.

After the teams exchanged points to make it 14-12, the Bulldogs erupted for an 11-1 run to complete the second-set win.  Redlands' success was due in part to Marty's tough serving and quality ball-distribution, as she effectively found sophomore outside hitter Paige McLeod (Redlands, CA) for two of her team-high seven kills. Amidst a slew of Caltech errors, a pair of Lanyon-inspired blocks also contributed to the Bulldogs' late scoring spree.

Although the Beavers answered with a win of their own in the third, the Maroon and Gray eagerly bounced back in the fourth set to seal the deal at home. A 2-2 tie quickly developed into an 8-2 Redlands advantage and a Caltech timeout.  Senior libero Abigail Hickman (Phoenix, AZ) played a big role in this outburst by firing off three aces in four opportunities. 

But the Beavers refused to go away and knotted the tally at 13, 14, and 15 before the Bulldogs answered with five-straight points to make it 20-15.  With Hickman back at the service line, Marty and Tafoya led the offense for Redlands. 

With the relentless defense of Hickman and freshman libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) providing great support along the back row, sophomore outside hitter Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL), Houston, and Lanyon joined forces at the net to close out the Bulldog victory, 25-20.

McLeod led the Maroon and Gray with seven kills that came at a clip of .333.  Lanyon and Tafoya added five apiece, while Houston and Casey each provided four.  Marty racked up 13 assists and five digs, as Busch paced the Bulldogs with nine digs.

Redlands (5-8, 2-5 SCIAC) heads to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Thursday, October 5, for a SCIAC match against the eighth-ranked Athenas at 7 p.m.