Bulldog Women's Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Battle with Sagehens

Emily Marty sets up the attack for Redlands
Sam Keary

The University of Redlands women's volleyball team forced five sets against visiting Pomona-Pitzer, but the Sagehens pulled away with the 3-2 victory (25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11). Both teams came off Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest (SCIAC) wins and were looking to carry that momentum into Friday night.

Four Bulldogs (3-13, 1-6 SCIAC) finished the night with double-digit kills, led by junior middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) with 19, who also posted six blocks – including a solo stuff – on the night. Sophomore outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, Wash.) added 13, sophomore outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) contributed 12 and Sofia Olsson smacked down another 10.

Senior setter Emily Marty (San Diego, CA) posted a double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs. Junior libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) led Redlands with 29 digs, while Davidson was one dig shy of a double-double at nine.

Redlands got things going in the first set, scoring the first five points of the night. Starlin came up with two kills in the run, while Davidson had one of her two aces on the night during the scoring spree.

Despite the Bulldogs pushing their lead to seven points, 13-6, the Sagehens came back and took the set 25-22.

The Bulldogs bounced back and tied the second set at 9-9, before pushing their lead to 14-12 to force a Pomona-Pitzer timeout. Out of the break, however, the Bulldogs kept coming as Lanyon found an opening and gave her team a three-point lead, 15-12.

Pomona-Pitzer battled within one point, but Redlands was determined to even back the set victories and pushed out to a 20-14 lead with five-straight points, including kills from Starlin and Lanyon, as well as a service ace from sophomore setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA). The Bulldogs wouldn't let the Sagehens back in from there, taking the set 25-19.

Redlands found itself down 14-5 in the third, but took it point by point to pull within one, 23-24. The Bulldogs came close, but dropped the next point to give the Sagehens the 2-1 upper hand in the match.

The battle continued as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the fourth, determined to extend the match. A combination block from Lanyon and freshman middle blocker Saudya Reagor (Banning, CA) gave Redlands a commanding 21-14 cushion and all but secured the 25-21 victory for the Bulldogs.

In a fifth and deciding set, the Bulldogs got on the board first, but the Sagehens seemed to have a response for every point. After tying the set at 10-10, Pomona-Pitzer closed out the set on a 5-1 run to take the match.

The Bulldogs look to rebound on the road with a trip to Occidental on Saturday at 4 p.m. Redlands returns home to host Mills in a non-conference matchup on Sunday, Oct. 13 at noon.