CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team split their Friday night doubleheader at the Leopard Invitational, falling to UC Santa Cruz 3-1 (14-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-23) and defeating University of Puget Sound 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-18). The Sagehens had a roaring start in their opening game against the Banana Slugs, but UCSC made several adjustments on defense for the comeback victory. Pomona-Pitzer showed much improvement in the second match against the Loggers, refusing to relent after a dominating first set victory with improved defense and discipline to complete the sweep. It was the first time in program history the Sagehens defeated Puget Sound.
Season Impact: The Sagehens record is now 5-4 overall.
UC Santa Cruz 3, Pomona-Pitzer 1 (14-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-23)
Isabel Kelly led the offense with 15 kills in the opening match and hit a highly efficient .520 kill percentage while Adrienne Tong delivered 33 assists. Unfortunately, their efforts weren't enough as the Banana Slugs managed to out-defend the Sagehens for their comeback victory.
The Sagehens found their momentum in the opening set during Lauren Asato's services, scoring six straight points to take a 9-2 lead. Later the Sagehens rallied again during Izzy Deatherage's service, scoring four straight to lead 14-5. Deatherage scored the final kill to seal the set 25-15.
The two sides were close for majority of the second set, with Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong scoring a kill off a pass by Tong to tie the set 15 apiece. However, the Banana Slugs responded with 10 straight points to finish the set 25-15. In the third set, the Sagehens chipped into the Slugs 17-13 lead with a three-point rally thanks to three errors by the visiting sit. However, UCSC shook off the mistakes and rallied four straight points to lead 22-16. They went on to take the set 25-17. The Sagehens came close to tying the match after catching up to UCSC to fall behind only 22-20. A huge block by Brooke Carlson and a kill by Kelly cut the deficit 23-22. The Sagehens came close to sending the match to extras after a service error by UCSC made it 24-23, but Alexandria Everett of Santa Cruz closed out the match with a kill.
Pomona-Pitzer 3, Puget Sound 0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-28)
The Sagehens bounced back with a dominating victory over the Loggers, as the offense finished with a .246 kill percentage and the defense limited their opponents to a -.020. Naomi Chen-Mallouk and Isabell Kelly co-led with 13 kills each while Lauren Asato had 21 digs. Adrienne Izzy Deatherage had a great all-around game, making athletic digs to keep rallies alive and several clutch hits. Adrienne Tong delivered a season-high 38 assists.
Pomona-Pitzer made a statement in the opening set, jumping to an 8-3 lead during which Kelly and Chen-Mallouk recorded two kills each. The Loggers struggled to solve the Sagehens' defense as the home side continued to put the lead out of reach, leading 17-6 after a service ace by Tong. Later the Sagehens went on a 6-0 run, during which four different Sagehens recorded a kill. Addo-Ashong clinched the set with a kill off a pass by Tong.
The Sagehens once again tried to put the game out of reach in the second set, pulling a 9-5 lead, but the Loggers refused to go away. The visitors cut the deficit to 11-10, but the Sagehens responded with a three-point rally during which a kill by Chen-Mallouk and Kelly gave Pomona-Pitzer a 15-11 lead. The Loggers cut the lead to one after a service error by Deatherage, but the Sagehens battled back, winning several long rallies, to extend to a 24-20 lead. Chen-Mallouk finished the set with a big kill off a free ball.
In the third set, the Sagehens cruised to a 16-12 lead and went on a 6-0 run during which Tong combined with Chen-Mallouk for four kills. With a 23-15 lead the Sagehens ran into a bit of trouble when the Loggers scored three straight, but a kill by Kelly and a solo block by Addo-Ashong clinched the victory for the Sagehens.
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Pacific Lutheran University tomorrow in the final day of the Leopard Invite at 4:00 p.m.