Volleyball stays on top
|Posted Sept. 29, 2006|
Everybody says winning never gets old, but this season’s Division III third-ranked La Verne women’s volleyball team is living it.
After Coach Don Flora was honored with his 100th Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win Sept. 19, he celebrated yet another milestone Tuesday night against the Caltech Beavers.
“We work hard to win every night,” Flora said. “Two-hundred is just an added bonus. It just means I’ve been around too long.”
The Leopards made beating the Beavers, and bringing Coach Flora his 200th career win, look far from hard. They swept the match 3-0 while not allowing more than 10 points in any one game.
After winning the first game 30-5, the Leopards relaxed somewhat in the following games, winning 30-8 and 30-10. Their record is now 12-0 overall and 3-0 within SCIAC.
Coming into last Friday night’s game against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, the Leopards were 10-0 and coming off of an easy match against Chapman.
The stage was set for victory and the team delivered in its second SCIAC match of the season.
The Leopards swept the Sagehens 3-0, winning 30-20, 30-28, and 30-22, while hitting .314, .257, and .265 respectively.
All three games started off with the score going back-and-forth, but ultimately the Leopards would come through and take the lead.
“As long as we bring the La Verne intensity we can go as far as we want,” freshman opposite/middle blocker Crista Jones said.
Jones was one of the heroes of Friday’s game, after recording 9 kills. Her group of super-friends included sophomore outside hitter Brianna Gonzales with 11 kills, senior setter Leslie Flores with 44 assists, and junior opposite Jodi Lindsay with a team-high 16 kills.
The second game got a little too close for comfort after the Leopards allowed the score to reach 28-28 before closing it out with the next two points.
“Halfway through the second game we turned it up,” Lindsay said. “We knew we had to show confidence and prove that we’re better.”
Flora was impressed with the poise his team showed while fighting back in the second game.
“They really showed mental toughness,” Flora said. “What (the team) did showed mental grit.”
After that second game scare, the Leopards rallied together and finished strong. The Leopards finished with 50 digs and 7.5 blocks.
“We knew we wanted to win,” Gonzales said. “After the second game we knew we had them mentally and they were physically tired.”
This team is really enjoying the feeling of winning every game and it can be seen in the way they react to every victory.
“It feels awesome,” Jones said. “I just love being a part of a team with an amazing group of talented girls.”
Lindsay said the team is excited to keep their perfect record intact and they will do all they can to remain undefeated.
If all goes well, the Leopards may never let up and ride their momentum all the way into the National Collegiate Athletic Association West Regionals, with the ultimate goal of yet another Division III championship.
First, the team must make it through the day unharmed as it goes up against Chapman at 2:30 p.m. at home today followed by a 7:30 p.m. game against Whittier.
Kevin Zeni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.