The national powerhouse University of La Verne women’s volleyball team continued its success with three game sweeps over Occidental, Caltech and Chapman.
The Leopards are now ranked fourth in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. Only Washington Univeristy (Mo.), Juniata College (Penn.) and Emory University (Ga.) are ahead of La Verne. The Leopards suffered early losses to both Washington and Juniata.
“We just try to take things one match at a time,” junior setter Leslie Flores said. “We try not to pay too much attention to the rankings.”
Occidental hoped to compete with the Leopards Tuesday night in Eagle Rock, but La Verne displayed too much fire power and steamrolled past the Tigers, 3-0 (30-16, 30-8, 30-19). ULV is attempting to capture a sixth straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.
Senior opposite Courtney Rollins ended the match with nine kills while sophomore outside hitter Whitney Krantz added eight kills of her own. Krantz had success despite the fact that she only played in one game.
Senior middle blocker Mandy Sedia had 6 blocks.
“I thought that we played really well,” Flores said. “We took care of everything that we have worked on.”
The Leopards had a day-night double header last Friday against Chapman and Caltech. La Verne defeated Chapman, 3-0 (30-11, 30-7, 30-13) while also sweeping Caltech, 3-0 (30-11, 30-17, 30-13).
The Leopards’ offensive efficiency improved throughout their match against Chapman as they hit .106 in game one, .279 in game two and .325 in game three.
Sedia had a match high nine kills while Rollins and freshman Brianna Gonzales added eight kills each. Junior Lauren Friestad had 23 digs while junior ?outside hitter Kimberly Fitzsimmons added 20 of her own.
“We need to keep working hard,” Friestad said. “We have played really well as a team the last few matches. We cannot become content.”
Sedia and sophomore opposite Jodi Lindsay recorded nine kills against Caltech while Rollins and Gonzales had eight kills. Krantz added a team high 10 kills.
The Leopards, who lost six athletes from last years squad, have now won 53 consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matches.
“We try not to worry about streaks or anything like that,” Friestad said. “We just try to play our best game.”
La Verne, which plays its home matches at Pomona College due to the renovation of the Supertents, will match up against Pomona-Pitzer at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Claremont.
Adrian Medrano can be reached at email@example.com.