Women's Volleyball: Kelly, Chen-Mallouk Lead Offense in Whittier College Loss

Women's Volleyball: Kelly, Chen-Mallouk Lead Offense in Whittier College Loss

WHITTIER, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team fell to Whittier College on the road on Saturday night, dropping a five-set thriller. Trailing 2-0, the Sagehens came back and hoped to get their third comeback victory of the season, but their effort fell short as they lost 3-2 (16-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 11-15). Naomi Chen-Mallouk led the team with 18 kills and had five assisted blocks while Isabel Kelly added 16. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong led the defense with six assisted blocks and had eight kills. Chloe Kerstein had her breakout game, delivering a season-high 11 kills, and Lauren Asato protected the floor with 30 digs.

Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 6-6 overall this season and 0-2 in the SCIAC.

After a tough first set, the Sagehens put up a stronger fight in the second, clawing back from and 14-3 deficit and coming within one point after cutting the lead 20-19. The Sagehens scored two straight points off a kill by Addo-Ashong and an attack error from the Poets to tie the set 22-22. However, the Poets closed it out 25-23 with a kill by Alaina Rhee to take a 2-0 lead.

The Sagehens began their comeback in the third set as a huge five-point run capped by a block from Chen-Mallouk and Addo-Ashong gave the visiting side a 12-6 lead. The Poets rallied back with five straight points, but the Sagehens managed to prevent them from taking the lead. With the set tied at 15, Brooke Carlson sparked a 6-0 run with a kill off a pass by Adrienne Tong. Addo-Ashong and Tong capped the rally with a block to give the Sagehens a 21-16 lead. Whittier battled back to tie the set, but the Sagehens responded with four straight points, including a kill and service ace by Kerstein to seal the set 25-22.

The fourth set was extremely close as neither side were able to seize a sizable lead. Later, as the Sagehens trailed 17-14, they responded with four straight points, thanks to three attack errors from the Poets, to lead 18-17. The two sides traded points, but after trailing 23-22, the Sagehens scored three straight, including a huge kill by Kelly to win the set 25-23.

Pomona-Pitzer led 4-0 to start the final set, but the Poets rallied with five straight to keep their hopes alive. After battling back and forth, the Poets broke free with four unanswered points to lead 10-7. Whittier College maintained the distance and after leading 13-11, they closed out the match with two straight points.

Up Next: The Sagehens will head back on Tuesday, September 24 when they host Chapman University at 7:00 p.m.