The University of Redlands women's volleyball team welcomed the Beavers of Caltech to Currier Gym for Friday night's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown. With a total-team effort, the Bulldogs recorded a straight-set victory for the first time since September 8 and prevailed by scores of 28-26, 25-16, 25-16.
During the opening set, Redlands stormed out to a 4-0 lead before stretching that to 7-1 off kills by junior middle blocker Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA), sophomore middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA), and senior setter Jackie Andrade (West Seattle, WA).
After the teams traded a few rallies, the Bulldogs put together a seven-point run to take a 16-5 advantage. With sophomore libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) at the service line, the Maroon and Gray's relentless defense and high-flying attack sent Caltech into a tailspin of errors.
A similar trend of success continued for the home team, which built a 20-13 lead with ease.
Nonetheless, Redlands temporarily lost its rhythm and suffered multiple miscues that let the Beavers back into the set.
A well-timed kill by junior outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) broke up a 23-23 tie but a Beaver block evened up the score again. Another Caltech point put the opening set on the visitor's serve, which forced Head Coach Lisa Lindberg to call a timeout. This decision proved to be worthwhile, as the Beavers' ensuing serve flew into the net to make it 25-all.
But once again, the Beavers answered to gain set point at 26-25.
However, a big-time block by Lanyon and sophomore right-side hitter Marlena Ramanis (Walnut Creek, CA) set up first-year setter Tati Luevano's (San Pablo, CA) ace and first-year outside hitter Natalie Starlin's (Las Vegas, NV) kill for the Bulldogs' 28-26 win.
During the second set, the Beavers continued to push the Maroon and Gray into a back-and-forth battle that led to a Bulldog score of 15-14. First-year outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA) took matters into her own hands by registering a kill before serving off five points for the Bulldogs' 21-14 advantage. In addition, Casey supplied two kills during this span.
From here, Redlands cruised to the 25-16 decision and the two-set lead.
Although Caltech led by an early score of 4-1 in the third, the Bulldogs settled in to tie it up at 12 with impressive putaways by Olsson, junior right-side hitter Maloree Kupp (Sunnyside, WA), and junior outside hitter Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL).
At 17-15, Redlands pulled away with Davidson once again at the service line. Casey knocked down two kills, as Kupp and junior middle blocker Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA) registered a wall of block en route to the Maroon and Gray's 24-15 lead.
Kupp went on to score match point by converting a Luevano assist into a kill for the Bulldog sweep.
Fyda and Olsson each recorded eight kills in the win, with Olsson knocking them down at a clip of .571 without an error. In addition, Casey found hardwood on nine occasions.
Luevano and Andrade shared the ball-distribution duties by registering 20 and 15 assists, respectively. Busch tallied a team-high 11 digs.
Redlands (7-7, 1-5 SCIAC) heads to Occidental College on Saturday, September 29, for a 6 p.m. contest against the Tigers.