Twenty-Five and Counting for Cal Lutheran
LA VERNE, Calif. - Losing the first set against the Leopards 26-24, No. 15 Cal Lutheran stormed back to take the next three sets 25-21, 25-23, and 25-12 Friday night to remain the SCIAC's only team with an undefeated conference record this season.
Box Score: CLU 3, ULV 1 - F
The Regals have now won six of the last seven head-to-head matches against the Leopards and possess a five-match win streak over the Leopards.
Cal Lutheran's Friday night triumph also extended its regular season SCIAC win streak to 25 matches, a string of victories that initially began with a 3-1 win at Whittier on October 20, 2009.
After dropping the first set to the host Leopards 24-26, Cal Lutheran responded in as positive a manner as possible by jumping out to an early 3-0 advantage the following set. Preventing ULV from taking the lead at any point during that second set, the Regals built a lead that would swell to as many as five points en route to their 25-21 set victory.
With the match tied at one, trailing 20-22 in the third set, the Regals recorded five of the next six points scored following their timeout thanks to timely kills recorded by freshman outside hitter Kylie McLogan and momentum-building blocks earned by junior middle blocker Shannon Pearson and junior setter Jackie Russell.
Were it not for a CLU service error, the Regals would have scored all five points needed to capture that third set following their strategically-planned break. Instead, that point became the final one earned by La Verne as the Regals eventually won the third set 25-23 to take a 2-1 lead.
Looking to avoid their second loss in as many matches, the Leopards did put up a fight throughout the initial moments of the fourth set in an effort to force a decisive fifth set.
Erasing a two-point CLU advantage on two separate occasions, La Verne was able to fight back to earn an 8-8 tie during the initial moments of the fourth set.
From that point on, Cal Lutheran simply played a quality of volleyball that was nosebleed-high, winning six consecutive points on one occasion before ending the match with another streak of five, preventing ULV from earning its first home win after taking the fourth set 25-12.
Leading the way for the Regals with their respective double-doubles of 15 kills/13 digs and 11 kills/13 digs, McLogan and junior outside hitter Rachel Smith were two of six players responsible for CLU's 51 digs.
Competing in back-to-back weekend matches for the second straight week, Cal Lutheran (12-4, 5-0 SCIAC) will return to Gilbert Arena Saturday afternoon to face Pomona-Pitzer (5-9, 3-2 SCIAC). That match will begin at 1:00 p.m.