Caltech Beaver Vivian Yang (No. 2) shrinks from the ball delivered by Leopard Samantha McCosh (No. 8) during the third game at Frantz Athletic Court on Saturday. The match was short, lasting just a little more than an hour, with the Leopards sweeping Caltech, 3-0.
The women’s volleyball team needed no tricks on Nov. 1 as it crushed Caltech, 3-0, in front of a small crowd at Frantz Athletic Court.
But the team received a couple of treats on Tuesday, as La Verne romped on Whittier.
The defeat secures the Leopards’ ninth Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in a row.
Also, ULV was chosen to host the NCAA Division III West Regional Tournament.
The tournament will convene on Nov. 13-15.
“We raised our level of joy and raised our energy and put them away in games two and three,” head coach Don Flora said.
The Leopards are happy that their season will continue in the tournament at La Verne.
“We’re excited to host the Regional here,” sophomore middle blocker Amanda Gomez said.
“We’ll have our crowd here, our energy and our confidence,” junior setter Yesenia Lopez said.
Flora is also happy that the school is hosting its fourth tournament in a decade.
Flora said that he is glad the team can play for the people who been there the most.
“We love having our fans and students out,” Flora said. “It’s a blast. I hope a lot of people come out.”
Against Whittier, the Leopards played everyone on the roster. La Verne won 25-17, 25-6 and 25-7.
La Verne moved to 22-2 overall on the season.
The Leopards had another stellar performance, hitting at a .547 percentage. La Verne’s defense also was on point, keeping the Poets to a .043 percentage of the night.
Senior outside hitter Brianna Gonzales registered 13 kills and 10 digs. Junior Crista Jones contributed eight kills.
Setters Courtney Boyd and Lopez collected 42 assists combined, with Lopez receiving 23 assists in the match.
While the Leopards looked on point, there is always room for improvement.
“We looking forward to see if we can fine tune and play at an elite level,” Flora said.
Against Caltech, La Verne brought their “A” game, beating the Beavers 25-4, 25-5 and 25-15.
La Verne played all its team members in the match, giving some of its top players, like senior outside hitter Brianna Gonzales, some breaks.
“Everyone got a chance to play,” Lopez said. “It was cool that they did.”
Concentration and focus were the keys for La Verne as the team executed the match almost flawlessly.
“I thought we played a really clean game,” Lopez said. “We made not a lot of mistakes.”
In the first two games, Caltech gave little competition and the Leopards were able to cruise by.
La Verne, with its reserves in the game, saw game three start differently.
Caltech was able to pull ahead 2-0 after an ace by Vivian Yang.
But that was the only lead the Beavers were able to manage, as the Leopards were able to come back and lead 8-4 after a massive kill by sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Villanueva.
Caltech tried to come back after La Verne mismanaged a hit to make the score, 15-10.
However, the Leopards extended their lead to 23-13 after a kill by junior middle blocker Crista Jones.
Caltech tried to come back, getting to 23-16 after a kill by Caltech’s outside hitter Katie Peters.
But the Leopards squeaked the victory out after a kill by Villanueva.
Junior middle blocker Karli Fowlkes led all players with eight kills.
The Leopards will find out their tournament placement on Nov. 10 when the NCAA regional tournament schedule will be announced.
But the team wants to finish conference play on a high note.
“We want to win SCIAC the way we want to, which is undefeated,” Lopez said.
“If we can take care of business, we feel we can take conference,” Flora said.
The Leopards will find out who they play on Monday, Nov. 10 when the pairings and teams will be released.
Jonathan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.