The University of Redlands women's volleyball team hosted the No. 6 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas during Friday's Senior Night in Currier Gym. Despite competing with great enthusiasm and versatility, the Bulldogs came up short in a three-set decision by scores of 22-25, 13-25, 23-25.
After honoring senior setter Jackie Andrade (West Seattle, WA), the Bulldogs came out with energy and gained kills from junior right-side hitter Maloree Kupp (Sunnyside, WA) and junior outside hitter Christina Casey (Sherwood, OR). Sophomore middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) found hardwood off Andrade's assist for the Maroon and Gray's 3-2 lead.
Although the Athenas went on to build a four-point advantage, the Bulldogs answered with a tough net game that included kills from first-year outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) and monster blocks by Lanyon, Starlin, Casey, and junior middle blocker Michaela Rappa (Roseville, CA). Starlin's ace added to the firepower that pushed the Maroon and Gray to a knotted score of 13 apiece.
Back-and-forth rallies ensued, but a streak of errors cost the Bulldogs late in the set.
Nonetheless, Redlands regrouped with consecutive kills by Kupp and Starlin, followed by another big-time block by Kupp and Lanyon to make it 22-23.
Unfortunately, CMS' resulting timeout provided all the adjustments it needed to close out the first set on top.
During the second set, Redlands' errors proved too costly as the Athenas worked to keep the home team off-balanced. After earning a 13-8 advantage, CMS kept rolling for the solid result.
With their backs against the wall, the Bulldogs continued to battle in the third set and stormed out to an early 5-1 start. Kupp and first-year outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA) put down timely kills while CMS faltered with miscues.
Redlands' tough defense forced the Athenas out of system, which benefited the Bulldogs en route to a 9-4 advantage. The Maroon and Gray gained quality kills from Rappa, Lanyon, and Starlin, while sophomore libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) snuck in a perfectly-placed putaway of her own. The Bulldogs stretched the score to 18-11 in an impressive effort that included creative plays and big-time defense.
However, CMS managed to inch its way back into the set by serving tough and regaining its offensive rhythm.
Davidson fired off a much-needed ace for Redlands' 20-17 lead before the teams traded points to eventually tie it up at 23.
Nonetheless, the Athenas responded with back-to-back points for the three-set win.
Kupp paced the Bulldogs with eight kills, while Starlin and Lanyon combined for 13.
Redlands (11-13, 2-11 SCIAC) takes to the road on Tuesday, October 23, for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Caltech Beavers.