The University of Redlands women's volleyball team headed to Eagle Rock to take on the Tigers of Occidental College in Saturday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match. Amidst a back-and-forth battle, the Bulldogs came up short in four sets by scores of 18-25, 25-21, 16-25, 19-25.
During the opening set, Redlands turned a 10-13 deficit into a 17-13 advantage by uncorking seven consecutive points. During this stretch, the Bulldogs gained quality kills from sophomore middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) and first-year outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA), while junior outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) and Lanyon also secured a block for the Bulldogs. Redlands' relentless defense and persistent serving also forced Occidental into multiple errors.
Unfortunately, the Tigers quickly regrouped to find their rhythm and ran away with the opening-set victory.
Redlands put together its best offensive showing in the second set, which provided the difference in the four-point win. The Bulldogs converted 15 kills on a .286 hitting percentage, as compared to the Tigers' .077 performance on only nine kills.
Again, the set began with the teams trading points through a slight a 10-9 Oxy lead. But Redlands responded when first-year setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA) dished out perfect sets to first-year outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) for back-to-back kills. After knocking down an ace, Luevano kept feeding the hot hitter and found Starlin for two more kills and the Bulldogs' 15-12 advantage. The Maroon and Gray's offense continued to roll, while the front row added multiple blocks to make it 18-13.
However, the Tigers refused to go away and mustered five points to tie it up at 18.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs kept battling. Sophomore right-side hitter Marlena Ramanis (Walnut Creek, CA) and junior outside hitter Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL) added to the team's offensive efforts before junior middle blocker Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) slammed down the set-winning point at 25-21.
Unfortunately, the Maroon and Gray's momentum faded, as Occidental stormed out to early leads in the subsequent sets to eventually send Redlands home with the loss.
Lanyon topped the team with nine kills off a .350 clip, while Starlin added a .312 effort with seven kills. Luevano dished out 21 assists, while sophomore defensive specialist Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) delivered 14 digs.
The Maroon and Gray (7-8, 1-6 SCIAC) opens the month of October by hosting Whittier College on Tuesday, the 2nd, at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym.