CLAREMONT, CA. – For the third straight game, the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team emerged victorious in a five-set thriller, taking down Occidental College 3-2 (25-14, 18-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-3). Looking for answers to hold off a furious Tigers comeback, the Sagehens found their answer off the bench in the form of Britnie Casillas and Makylee Fruge. Fruge sparked the offense with eight kills in three sets of play and three block assists while Casillas tossed nine assists and made three digs in limited appearances. Julia Zwaal led the offense with 20 kills and came down for 16 digs and Adrienne Tong delivered 39 assists.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to an 11-12 record overall and 8-3 in the SCIAC. They now sit in third place in the conference. The team has yet lost a
The Sagehens got off to a roaring start in the first set, jumping on a 4-0 run off kills by Zwaal, Gaby Harrison, and a pair from Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong to take a 7-3 lead. Leading 9-6, the Sagehens saw their lead slip when the Tigers broke out with six straight points to take a 12-9 lead. The Sagehens responded when a booming spike by Zwaal ignited a 4-0 run, during which the Tigers committed two errors. Tied at 13 apiece, the Sagehens scored six straight thanks to three consecutive attack errors by the Tigers. The run was capped by an open spike by Brooke Carlson off a free ball to make it 19-13. Pomona-Pitzer never looked back and finshed the set comfortably after another 6-0 run, capped by two attacking errors from the Tigers.
The second set didn't start spectacularly for the Sagehens as they trailed 6-3 early in. The Tigers' offense sparked to a 10-6 lead after scoring three straight points. Kayla Krilove made her impact felt, crushing a free toss by Tong to cut the deficit 11-8. Harrison and Addo-Ashong followed with kills to put the Sagehens ahead 11-10. The two sides traded points, but later with the score tied at 16 apiece, the Tigers began to pull away with an 8-1 run to win the set.
Trailing 11-10, the Tigers managed to take back the lead with a 3-0 run and never looked back. Ahead 16-14, the Tigers tacked on three more points and began to pull away. They won the set 25-20 off a kill by Jacqueline Rutherfur.
Looking for a spark to not let the match slip away, the Sagehens' offense extended from a 5-4 lead. After a service error by the Tigers, Addo-Ashong scored a service ace and Zwaal smashed two straight kills to make it 8-5. Leading 12-11, Britnie Casillas spark a huge run, finding Carlson with an easy toss to put the Sagehens ahead 13-11. Zwaal followed with an easy solo block and the Sagehens broke out for three more points to lead 17-11. Holding onto a 19-13 lead, the Sagehens almost had a scare when the Tigers scored four consecutive points, but a spike by Zwaal and an attacking error by the Tigers diffused the momentum. Later Addo-Ashong finished the set and tied the match with a kill that bounced off the Tigers' receiver and out of play.
In the final set, the Sagehens fired all cylinders on both ends of the floor. Makylee Fruge and Chloe Kerstein combined for a block to score the first point. After an attack error from the Tigers and a service ace by Zwaal, Fruge rose up again alongside Kayla Krilove to block another shot to put the Sagehens up 4-0. A poor set by Lara Minassians following a tough serve by Zwaal made it 5-0. After the Tigers finally scored their first point of the set, the Sagehens continued to reel. After two errors by the Tigers, Fruge leapt in the air during the rally and crushed a meteor onto the Tigers' floor to make it 8-1. A cross-net hit by Chloe Kerstein and three straight kills by Addo-Ashong made it 12-1. Kerstein capped the run with another kill to extend the lead 13-1. Fruge made it 14-2 after crushing a hit that blasted off the blocker's hands and out of bounds and Addo-Ashong finished the match with a kill.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next travel to Whittier, CA to take on Whitter College on Friday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m.