The University of Redlands women's volleyball team traveled to Orange to take on the Chapman University Panthers on Saturday afternoon. Despite earning only five fewer points than the Panthers, the Bulldogs came up on the losing end of a very tight four-setter by scores of 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 23-25.
Redlands put together its most prolific attack of the match during the second set by firing off a hitting percentage of .316. Freshman outside hitterChristina Casey (Sherwood, OR) initiated the offensive outburst with a pair of kills early in the set. The Bulldogs continued to cruise when sophomore outside hitter Kaylee Burdick (Sun Valley, CA) and freshman middle hitterSofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) found hardwood for kills. With the Maroon and Gray leading 14-4, freshman middle hitter Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA) joined the hit parade by bookending the next three points with kills of her own. Redlands kept up the offensive pressure with a stunning performance by senior setter Ellie McLeod (Redlands, CA), who effectively connected with the hot hitter while also finding ways to successfully terminate points with crafty kills at the net.
Unfortunately for Redlands, the Panthers made the necessary adjustments to successfully cool the visiting team's offense over the subsequent two sets. Despite their less effective attack, the Bulldogs battled until the bitter end, with the loss being determined by only four points.
Burdick led the Maroon and Gray with 10 kills, while Casey added nine. Tafoya, freshman opposite Megan Houston (Normandy Park, WA), and Olsson combined for 22 kills. McLeod dished out 31 assists.
Defensively, the Bulldogs put up a nice block by registering 10 total blocks on the night. Olsson and Tafoya played a huge part in that success with four block assists each.
Junior defensive specialist Abigail Hickman (Phoenix, AZ) patrolled the back row with 16 digs.
Redlands (10-6, 2-5 SCIAC) hosts the No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Tuesday, October 4, at 7 p.m. in Currier Gym.