CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team wrap up the Leopard Invitational with two hard-fought battles against UC Santa Cruz and DeSales that unfortunately did not fall in the home side's favor. The Sagehens took a tough 3-1 loss to the Banana Slugs (6-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-19) in the first match of the day and closed out the evening losing to DeSales 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 25-11).
Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 8-11 overall after the Leopard Invitational.
UC Santa Cruz def. Pomona-Pitzer 3-1
The Sagehens' offense got off to a fiery start, delivering 13 kills and hitting .444 for a 25-6 set win, the Banana Slugs refused to back down and came back in three straight sets. Isabel Kelly and Gaby Harrison co-led the Sagehens with 11 kills each while Chloe Kerstein unleashed 10 spikes. Brooke Carlson did a solid job shoring up the net protection with one solo block and three assisted blocks.
The opening set started off well for the Sagehens as they built an early 6-2 lead. Ahead 8-4, Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong went on a service tear, discombobulating the Banana Slugs' receiving team with her laser-like serves and forcing them to giving the Sagehens free balls off over passes. Her services led the Sagehens to score 11 points straight as they took a dominating 19-4 lead. The Banana Slug never mustered a comeback rally as the Sagehens scored three straight points to close the set 25-6.
The Banana Slugs shook off their rust from the first set and came out attacking in the second. Leading 5-3, UCSC scored four straight to extend the lead and never looked back. Later as the Sagehens trailed 16-10, Pomona-Pitzer scored three straight with one point coming off a kill from Kelly and the next off an assisted block by Kelly and Carlson. However, the Slugs rallied back and secured the 25-18 set win to tie the match.
The Sagehens' offense came back to life in the third set when they took an 11-8 lead early on. They followed with a long five-point rally thanks to the brilliant serves by Sara Ryerson who delivered two straight service aces and a big spike from Kelly to make it 16-8. However, after the Sagehens led 20-14, UCSC battled back with five straight points to come within striking distance. They later tied the set at 23 apiece. The two sides battled closely and with the score tied at 25 each, the Banana Slugs prevailed with two straight points to take the lead 2-1.
Santa Cruz picked up where they left off in the fourth set and pounced to a 9-3 lead. However, the Sagehens refused to go away, scoring six straight to tie the match. The two sides battled tightly, but the Banana Slugs eventually found their break with a 4-0 run, including two kills from Shania Andrews to lead 17-14. The Banana Slugs never looked back and managed to seal the winning set 25-19.
DeSales def. Pomona-PItzer 3-1
Pomona-Pitzer's offense played efficiently in the first two sets against DeSales, hitting .265 in the first set and .222 in the second. However, the Bulldogs' offense was locked in, hitting .387 in the first set, .441 in the third, and .355 in the fourth. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong led the Sagehens with 13 kills while Gaby Harrison delivered 11 kills with 10 digs. Sara Ryerson had 27 assists while Britnie Casillas delivered 12.
The Bulldogs took the charge in the first set, scoring to an 8-4 lead. The Sagehens came within two after kills by Addo-Ashong and Harrison to cut the lead 8-6. Trailing 16-10, the Sagehens mustered another rally as Addo-Ashong sparked a 3-0 run with a huge spike that bounced off a DeSales receiver. Jackie Roland followed with a service ace and Kerstein capped the run with a kill off a toss by Ryerson. The Bulldogs responded with another big rally, leading 21-15 and never looked back.
The Sagehens refused to back down in the second set, breaking out with a giant 7-0 run during Kerstein's service tenure to lead 12-6. During the rally, Addo-Ashong contributed three kills. The Bulldogs tried to rally back and came within one point, cutting the deficit 16-15, but Isabel Kelly shutdown the momentum after blasting a spike into the Bulldogs' floor to extend the lead 17-15. DeSales responded with five straight points to take a 21-18 lead, but the Sagehens came within one after a kill by Addo-Ashong and an attacking error by the Bulldogs. Trailing 22-20, the Sagehens' offense came to life again thanks to a spike from well-placed hit by Harrison that fell into the gaps. After an attacking error from the Bulldogs, Harrison came through with another kill to take the lead 23-22. Addo-Ashong served up an ace and Brooke Carlson finished the set with a kill to win in 25-22.
In the third set, the Bulldogs' offense surged to a 6-2 lead and never allowed the Sagehens to come close of spoiling. A 5-1 rally from DeSales during the set put them ahead 12-5, but later the Sagehens strung a quick run sparked by a Carlson spike to cut the deficit 13-10. The two sides battled back and forth, but the Sagehens couldn't break the two-point gap. Leading 21-18, the Bulldogs scored four straight to lead 2-1.
The fourth set looked decided early on. With the Bulldogs ahead 10-6, DeSales scored nine straight points to lead 19-6. The Sagehens worked to string a comeback, but the team had difficulty stringing receiving combinations and hits to spark the offense. Pomona-Pitzer latered scored two straight points thanks to a spike from Kelly followed by a solo block from Addo-Ashong, but it was too late as the Bulldogs pulled to a 25-11 victory in the set.
Up Next: The Sagehens will look to bounce back as they head across the street to face cross-street rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m.