CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team held off a resilient Redlands side on Friday night to win out a five-set battle in Voelkel Gym. The Sagehens pulled out a 3-2 victory (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 20-25, 15-12) thanks to some improved receiving down the stretch and well-executed hits in the clutch. Isabel Kelly and Julia Zwaal co-led the team with 14 kills each while Brooke Carlson did a splendid job protecting the net with six assisted blocks and one solo block. Zwaal also led the team with four service aces and dove for 17 digs while Adrienne Tong came close to the 50-assist mark with 48 assists and three service aces.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 9-12 record overall and 6-3 in the SCIAC.
The Sagehens found themselves trailing in the middle of the first set 17-14 when two attacking errors by Redlands and a booming hit from Zwaal brought the Sagehens back in the game. After the Bulldogs responded with two points, the home side went on a four-point run thanks to a huge spike by Carlson in a short rally and two straight service aces from Zwaal, putting the Sagehens ahead 21-19. The Bulldogs refused to go away and cut the lead 24-23, but Zwaal once again delivered, spiking a hit from a toss by Tong that bounced off a Redlands' receiver and onto the floor.
The Sagehens continued to roll in the second set, hitting at a .184 percentage while holding the Bulldogs to .050. During Zwaal's service, the Sagehens pounced to a 6-0 lead as Tong's passing and the off-ball movements from the hitters put the Bulldogs' defense in disarray. Redlands managed to settle and went on a short run to cut the lead 6-3. However, the Sagehens stayed the course, building up to a 16-11 lead. Trailing 22-17, the Bulldogs went on to score five straight to tie the game and put the pressure on the Sagehens. However, Zwaal kept her composure as Tong found her for back-to-back kills to extend the lead 24-22. An attack error by Redlands sealed the second set.
The third set started similarly as the second set with the Sagehens erupting for a 6-0 lead. However, the Bulldogs refused to make the same mistakes, battling back to tie the game at 9-9 and trading points back and forth with the Sagehens. Leading 21-20, Redlands went on a 4-1 run to cut the lead 2-1.
The Bulldogs caught rhythm in the fourth set as they found themselves hitting the ball with incredible efficiency while the Sagehens' passing game was in disarray. After a series of open hits and forcing the Sagehens into attacking errors, the Bulldogs led 13-9. The Sagehens managed to grind back from the deficit as a huge assisted block from Chloe Kerstein and Addo-Ashong capped a 3-0 run that tied the game at 14-14. Later with the game tied at 20 apiece, the Bulldogs broke free once more with a 5-0 run to tie the match.
Redlands took the early 5-2 lead in the final set as the Sagehens still looked for their rhythm from the first two sets. Kelly then woke the Sagehens' offense up, crushing hard-hit balls off easy tosses from Tong to spark a 4-1 run to tie the game at seven apiece. After the Bulldogs took an 11-9 lead, the Sagehens showed their resiliency and battled back. Kerstein sparked a run with a softly hit kill that found the Bulldogs' floor and Tong followed up with a service ace. Kelly then delivered a huge hit from the right side of the net that fell diagonally to the left side of the Bulldogs' floor. Kerstein and Kelly later delivered back-to-back kills to seal the match.
Up Next: The Sagehens will travel tomorrow to Pasadena, California to face Caltech at 2:00 p.m.