The University of Redlands women's volleyball team took on non-conference foe Nazareth College (NY) in one match at the Leopard Invitational at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Friday afternoon. The Bulldogs used a well-rounded showing to secure the four-set win by scores of 25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 25-16.
Redlands jumped out to an early lead in the opening set, with quality kills by sophomore middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA), junior outside hitter Melanie Fyda (Chicago, IL), and first-year outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV). With first-year setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA) and junior setter Emily Marty (Chula Vista, CA) running the offense, junior outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR) and junior right-side hitter Maloree Kupp (Sunnyside, WA) joined the attacking efforts with a few kills to lead the Bulldogs to a 19-14 lead.
Although Nazareth edged within one, the Bulldogs kept their composure and sealed the opening-set win on a kill by first-year outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA).
A similar trend continued in the second set, as the Bulldogs snagged a 7-2 advantage with big blocks and crafty kills.
Redlands remained in front through the final point, with junior middle blocker Michaela Rappa (Roseville, CA) and sophomore right-side hitter Marlena Ramanis (Walnut Creek, CA) adding quality attacking along the net. Sophomore defensive specialist Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) provided stellar support from the back row en route to her 26-dig performance of the day.
Unfortunately, the momentum slowed for the Maroon and Gray, as Nazareth managed to steal the third set to extend the match.
The Bulldogs faced a two-point deficit early in the fourth but quickly responded with Marty and Davidson at the service line in succession. The duo combined for eight points, forced a Nazareth timeout, and helped regain the lead at 13-6.
The team continued to press the offensive gas pedal through the end of the set, earning the 3-1 match decision.
Overall, the Bulldogs hit .204, as compared to their opponent's .118 showing. Kupp paced the Maroon and Gray with eight kills off a .261 clip, while Starlin, Casey, and Lanyon each put down seven kills. Marty and Luevano combined for 34 assists, while Davidson registered four service aces.
Redlands (7-9) hosts a tri-match with Mills College and Manchester University (IN) on Sunday, October 7. First, the Bulldogs face Mills at 12 noon, followed by Mills and Manchester squaring off at 2 p.m., and then closing with Redlands taking on Manchester at 4 p.m. in Currier Gym.