Sagehens Take First Set, But Whittier Rallies For 3-1 Win

Sagehens Take First Set, But Whittier Rallies For 3-1 Win

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Sophie Tweed-Simmons (Beverly Hills, Calif. - pictured) keyed a late rally for a win in the first set, but Whittier took the next three sets and captured a 3-1 win over the Sagehens on Friday evening at the Rains Center.

With the win, Whittier improves to 10-16 overall and 5-4 in the SCIAC, while the Sagehens fall to 5-15 overall and 3-7 in conference play. Set scores were 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-21. Pomona-Pitzer also played a non-conference match with NYU afterwards and fell in four sets 25-15, 19-25, 25-18, 25-17 to fall to 5-16 on the year. 

In the Whittier match, the Sagehens trailed 17-11 in the first set, but Tweed-Simmons had three late kills to help Pomona-Pitzer rally for a 25-22 win and an early 1-0 lead.

The second set was close for most of the way, but with the Poets holding a 19-16 lead, they earned a key point, and then Alayna Rigo tallied five straight points on her serve, the last two by ace, to give the Poets the second set 25-16.

The third set was right down to the wire, as a kill by Pomona-Pitzer freshman Kirea Mazzolini (Phoenix, Ariz.) tied the score at 23-23. Whittier setter Alessandro Rios, though, saw an opening for a cross-court kill to break the tie and Tweed-Simmons just missed the near sideline with the tying kill attempt as the Poets took the third set 25-23.

The final set was another close one, but leading 21-20, Rios had a mis-hit fall in for a kill and two straight service errors made the score 24-20. A Mazzollini kill kept the Sagehens in the match momentarily, but the Poets earned the next point on a Sagehen error to win the set and the match.

Mazzollini led Pomona-Pitzer with a career-high 12 kills, while Tweed-Simmons had 11. Rigo led the Poets with 15 kills and 15 digs.

Pomona-Pitzer was missing both of its regular setters with injuries - senior Kenzie Aries (Escondido, Calif.) and freshman Dani Kritter (Culpepper, Va.) and freshman outside hitter Ellen Yamasaki, the leading hitter on the Sagehens filled in. Yamasaki had 30 kills, 19 digs and three kills, as she went over 200 kills, 200 digs and 100 assists for the season.

In the second match of the day, the Sagehens came out flat and dropped a 25-15 decision in the first set to NYU, but regrouped for an impressive 25-19 win in the second set, as Tweed-Simmons had the final two Pomona-Pitzer points with kills.

Freshman Sarah Buckingham, a native of Newport Beach, came up big for NYU in the third set as she had the final four kills for the Violets for a 25-18 win and a 2-1 lead in the match. She then added four more kills in the fourth set, a 25-17 win for NYU, to finish with a match-high 19.

Tweed-Simmons led the Sagehens in the NYU match with 12 kills, while senior Jordan Hammond (Tulsa, Okla.) added 10.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow when it hosts Chapman at 1 p.m. and then travels to Caltech at 6 p.m.