Women's Volleyball: Pomona-Pitzer Splits Opening Day Of Leopard Invite

Women's Volleyball: Pomona-Pitzer Splits Opening Day Of Leopard Invite

CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team went 1-1 in the first day of the Leopard Invitational on Friday night, losing to the University of Massachusetts-Boston 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-27. 15-13) followed by a 3-0 sweep over Nazareth (30-28, 25-21, 26-24). Isabel Kelly led the team with 15 kills while Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong stuffed four assisted blocks and one solo block in the first game. In the second match, Chloe Kerstein came through with 10 kills while Britnie Casillas led with four service aces.

Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 8-9 overall this season after today's events.

University of Massachusetts-Boston def Pomona-Pitzer 3-2

After taking a 12-9 in the opening set, the Sagehens managed to extend their advantage on a rally that ended on a big kill by Isabel Kelly that landed within the right sideline. The Beacons later rallied back to tie up the score. Isabel Kelly with another huge kill made it 21-18. Leading 22-21, the Sagehens rallied off a service error by the Beacons followed by a service ace by Chloe Kerstein. They capped the set when Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong spiked a free ball onto the Beacon's hardwood to make it 25-21.

The second set started off close as both teams could not muster a breakout rally. With the Sagehens trailing narrowly 6-5, Britnie Casillas delivered a service ace that fell on libero's knees to tie it. The Hens followed with a rally to take back two points. The Beacons made sure the lead didn't last for long as they battled back to take a 18-16 lead. They never looked back and with a 19-18 lead, the Beacons broke out on a 6-2 run to tie the match 1-1.

Pomona-Pitzer tried to keep it close in the third set, but found themselves battling back and forth with Boston. Tied at 13, the Sagehens rallied for two thanks to a service error by Macayla Chianco and a well-place spike into the gaps by Gaby Harrison. However, the Beacons quickly diffused the rally to tie the game. As the two sides stayed within striking distance of one another, the Beacons finally reached breakthrough towards the end of the set. With the two teams tied at 19 apiece, the Beacons broke out on a rally, exploiting gaps in the Sagehens' defense and delivering well-placed hits in front of the back line as they rallied for six straight to seal the set 2-1.

The Sagehens refused to back out, keeping it close for majority of the fourth set. Trailing 15-13, the Sagehens rallied back with a 4-0 run that was capped by back-to-back kills by Jackie Roland and Gaby Harrison to make it 17-15. Pomona-Pitzer maintained it's two-point lead for most of the set until the Beacons rallied from a 20-18 deficit to lead 21-20. The two sides battled to a 24-24 tie. The Sagehens took advantage of a bad set and a service ace by Chloe Kerstein to tie the match after a 27-25 set.

In the final set, with just a 10-9 lead, the Sagehens scored two quick points off an attack error by the Beacons and a huge assisted block by Addo-Ashong and Sara Ryerson. Ryerson later found Harrison for a huge kill to keep the lead 13-11, but the Beacons unleashed a big rally, scoring four straight to win the match in five sets.

Pomona-Pitzer def. Nazareth 3-0

The opening set was a slugfest between the Sagehens and the Golden Flyers as the two sides combined for 72 attack attempts and completed 13 kills each. The Sagehens barely outhit the Flyers with a .147 attack percentage to the Flyers' .132 and it showed in the final stretch of the set. In the final stretch of the set, the two teams went to deuce with the score tied at 24. Neither side were able to put each other at ease, scoring back and forth. However, with the game tied at 28 apiece, Gaby Harrison came through the set-winner, spiking down back-to-back kills to win the set 30-28.

After going ahead 7-6, the Sagehens broke out on a four-point rally thanks to a kill by Kerstein and back-to-back spikes from Addo-Ashong. The Sagehens saw their lead dwindle when Nazareth came back and tied the game at 15 apiece. After battling back and forth, the Sagehens took a 21-18 lead after Kelly delivered two straight kills and Kerstein tacked in one more.  Ahead 21-19, the Sagehens demonstrated their superior conditioning as Sophie Janssen, Ryerson, Kelly, and Harrison went on a digging spree to extend a long rally. It wasn't until Addo-Ashong and Kerstein combined for a giant block to put the Sagehens ahead 22-19. The rally sparked momentum into the Sagehens' offense as they never relinquished the lead. Harrison delivered a booming spike to make it 24-21 and the Golden Fliers hit into an error to close the set and give the Sagehens a 2-0 lead.  

The Sagehens found themselves in a hole in the third set, trailing 17-12 and struggling to place their hits on the Golden Flyers' floor. However, a big spike by Harrison ignited a 5-0 rally. The offensive run was capped by a kill from Kerstein that ricocheted off a receiver's arms and to the post. Later as the Hens trailed 22-21, Kelly rose for a huge spike that pinballed between two Nazareth players to tie the game. Later with the set tied at 24 apiece, Ryerson delivered a low toss to Addo-Ashong which the junior knocked down at ease. Britnie Cassilas closed the match with a service ace to seal the victory.

Up Next: The Sagehens will play again tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to host UC Santa Cruz followed by a 3:00 p.m. match against DeSales.