Volleyball extends win streak
|Posted Oct. 12, 2007|
Winning is what the University of La Verne women’s volleyball team seems to do best, as it extended its winning streak to 13 games last weekend, with victories over rivals Cal Lutheran, Occidental and Pomona-Pitzer.
Last Friday, the Leopards faced their toughest opponent yet in the Regals, in front of a huge crowd of more than 600 people.
The Leopards were able to seek a little revenge on Cal Lutheran, the team who ended the Leopards’ dream of a national championship in the semifinals of last season’s West Region tournament.
“Friday night was a big win for us,” head coach Don Flora said. “(It is a) true rivalry between Cal Lu and La Verne.”
Although the Leopards won the match with three wins back to back, it was a hard fought battle for every point.
“I felt like the atmosphere was spectacular,” Flora said. “It took both teams to get use to it.”
The Leopards managed to hold off the Regals best player Summer Plante-Newman, long enough to take the first three games for a sweep, and hold on to first place in conference competition.
The first game boasted the largest margin of victory for the night, with the Leopards winning, 30-21.
In the second game of the match, the Leopards rallied back from 28-26 to win the game 30-28.
But in game three, the Leopards saw their largest lead 20-15, cut down to 28-27 as the Regals came back.
The Leopards prevailed however, to take the match with a block from sophomore middle blocker Ashley Morgado.
Junior outside hitter Brianna Gonzales registered 15 kills in the game, while senior Jodi Lindsay tallied 13 kills.
Freshman Chelsea Sleight also recorded 20 digs in the match.
On Saturday, the Leopards saw the same results.
Against Occidental, the Leopards were able to sweep the visiting Tigers with a 30-15, 30-20, 30-19 win, holding the Tigers to just -.091 percentage in hitting.
“Last night’s game was incredible,” Morgado said, after the Occidental game.
The Tigers did improve upon every game, but were not able to compete against the Leopards.
“Today we tried to keep our energy up and tried to be clean,” Morgado said.
During the win, the Leopards received the most help by their youngest players.
Freshman outside hitter Rachel Verdoon recorded a double-double with 13 digs and 11 kills.
Also, the Leopards received help from freshman outsider hitter Rebecca Villanueva who finished with eight kills and eight digs.
“I think we played well,” Gonzales said. “I think we got off to a good start.”
The Leopards, boasting two wins over the weekend, were not able to rest on their laurels as they faced their last match of the weekend against Pomona-Pitzer.
“It was hard to come from that level of intensity (of Friday night’s game),” Flora said.
But the Leopards pulled off another sweep against the Sagehens with a score of 30-26, 30-22, 30-25.
The Leopards were able to hold the Sagehens to a .135 hitting percentage.
Lindsay was again the star of the game registering 13 kills of the match.
Gonzales also came up big with seven kills and 10 digs.
“I thought that we did well,” Morgado said. “We knew we couldn’t take this likely.”
The Leopards deserve a little rest coming off this past weekend and will receive it.
The Leopards’ next game will be against Azusa Pacific tonight in a non-conference match.
After the game, the Leopards will try to finish conference play undefeated.
But for now, the Leopards are just taking it day by day.
“It’s our daily habits, our daily routine really,” Flora said. “The game is 30 percent physical and 70 percent mental. We really got to get ourselves emotionally ready for the next month.”
Jonathan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org