CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pacific Coast Classic ended favorably for the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Volleyball Team as the Sagehens ended the opening weekend undefeated. The Sagehens opened day two with a gritty 3-2 comeback victory against Wentworth Institute of Technology followed by a dominating 3-0 sweep against Kean University. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong and Isabel Kelly were named to the PCC All-Tournament Team for their outstanding performances in both days.
Season Impact: Following the victory over Kean, the Sagehens open the season 4-0 for the first time since the 2015 season.
Pomona-Pitzer 3, Wentworth 2 (18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12)
The Sagehens battled back from a 2-0 deficit in their match with the Leopards, making adjustments on the defensive end to string a comeback. The home side out-blocked the Leopards 13 to 6.5 and limited them to below a .120 hitting percentage in the final three sets, including -.037 in the final set. Izzy Deatherage landed a career-high 17 kills while Lauren Asato snuffed out 26 digs. Grace Fan continued to impress in her first year campaign, stuffing seven assisted blocks while Isabel Kelly crushed 14 kills and six blocks (five assisted).
After dropping the first two sets to the Leopards, the Sagehens came to life on the floor and above the net. Trailing 4-1 early in the third set, the Sagehens rallied back with five straight points thanks to two big kills by Isabel Kelly and one by Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong. The home side extended their advantage to 11-8, but the Leopards responded with seven unanswered points to lead 15-11. However, the Sagehens battled back with four straight points, capped by a kill by Kelly to tie the match. Tied at 18 apiece, the Leopards surrendered the lead with a service error and Pomona-Pitzer pulled away with a service ace by Lauren Asato and back-to-back kills by Deatherage and Kelly. With Pomona-Pitzer ahead 24-20, a service error by Krisila Hammett of Wentworth gave Pomona-Pitzer the set.
The fourth set was a tenacious affair with both teams battling back and forth, with the Sagehens playing catchup majority of the set. Trailing 18-16, the Sagehens finally earned their first lead with a three-point rally thanks to a kill by Naomi Chen-Mallouk and two consecutive service aces by Britnie Casillas. With the set tied at 23, the Sagehens prevailed after two straight attacking errors by the Leopards.
The Sagehens controlled the final set, seizing the early lead and refusing to relinquish it. Their defense limited the Leopards to only four kills in 27 attempts. However, the Leopards managed to string a late rally to tie the set at 11 apiece, but two massive kills by Deatherage followed by a spike by Kelly put the Sagehens back up 14-11. Addo-Ashong finished the match with a hard spike that bounced well off the receiver's arms.
Pomona-Pitzer 3, Kean 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-10)
The final match of the Pacific Coast Classic played out much easier for the Sagehens as they cruised to a three-set sweep over Kean University. The Sagehens defense tamed the Cougars, holding them to a .033 hitting percentage, including a stifling -.143 percentage in the third set. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong and Isabel Kelly both co-led with 11 kills while Adrienne Tong delivered 27 assists. Addo-Ashong also had two solo blocks and two assisted blocks.
The opening set started close, but the Sagehens quickly pulled away with an 8-3 run, during which the Cougars recorded two errors and the Sagehens won two blocks to lead 11-7. The two sides kept trading points, but the Sagehens nearly clinched after going ahead 24-21. The Cougars rallied three straight to bring the set to deuces, but a service error by Kean and an ace by Tong gave the Sagehens the set.
The Cougars led 9-5 in the second set, but the Sagehens quickly shrugged off the deficit with five unanswered points during Lauren Asato's service turn. Later with an 20-18 lead, the Sagehens pulled away after an error by the Cougars and two straight kills by Addo-Ashong to lead 23-18. Addo-Ashong went on to score two more to seal the second set.
The Sagehens wasted little time in the final set, building a formidable 15-8 lead. They went on scored nine straight as Kean gifted the Sagehens five points off errors. A service error by Kean sealed their fate as the Sagehens completed the sweep.
Up Next: The Sagehens will travel to Richardson, Texas for the University of Texas-Dallas Tournament on Friday, September 6. They will open up with a match against Hardin-Simmons at 8:00 a.m. followed by a meeting with Southwestern (Tx.) at 1:00 p.m.