Hens Bounce Back From Defeat With Sweep of Tigers

Pomona-Pitzer women’s volleyball suffered a 3-0 loss against California Lutheran University on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Voelkel Gymnasium but followed the defeat with a 3-0 sweep against Occidental College on Tuesday night.

Against the Regals, the second-ranked team in the nation, the Sagehens (15-8, 7-4 SCIAC) were led by a strong effort from Allie Frappier PO ’15, who had 19 kills out of 41 attempts. Ellen Yamasaki PZ ’15 was second on the team with six kills.

However, Cal Lutheran was able to spread its offense out more evenly. Michelle Lawrence and Allie Eason led the Regals in the front row, tallying 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Sarah Pappas (eight kills), Dianna Rohrer (seven) and Pua Mo'okini-Oliveira (six) also contributed solid performances. 

The first set saw many long rallies as Cal Lutheran had 45 hitting attempts, while the Sagehens had 41. Pappas started Cal Lutheran on a run with three key plays (two kills and a block) to gain a 13-8 lead. From there, the Regals had little trouble as they finished off the Hens for a 25-14 win.

The second set featured quicker points with 27 hitting attempts for the Regals, 17 of which were converted to kills, and 24 attempts for the Hens. The Regals took a commanding 19-10 lead as a result of a 10-point run. The set was capped by three disappointing Sagehen unforced errors to give the Regals a 25-16 set win.

In the third set, however, the Hens were unwilling to go down without a fight. Cal Lutheran had a 15-10 advantage when Frappier made three crucial kills, followed by a few errors on both sides to bring the score to 17-16. A few more blunders from the Regals and another kill from Frappier brought the score to 23-22 for the Hens. 

“I think at that point we were finally able to relax and get into a rhythm,” setter Jessica Finn PO ’18 said.

However, this proved to be too little, too late. After a hitting error from Frappier, Pappas posted a kill to give Cal Lutheran game point. Lawrence capitalized by making a kill off an assist from Jena Chavez for a final set score of 25-23.

Reflecting on this loss, Finn felt the team came away with a good lesson in mentality.

“We have to stop worrying about who is on the other side of the net and just focus on ourselves,” Finn said.

Disappointed but not discouraged, the Hens found their redemption at Occidental. Unlike the game against Cal Lutheran, P-P took control early, holding onto its lead throughout the first set, which ended at 25-15.

To begin the second set, the Sagehens went on a six-point run, three of which were won from blocks. The Hens dominated the rest of the set until the Tigers were able to reduce a 20-9 lead to 21-16. However, the Hens answered with a four-point run with two more blocks to close the set.

In the third set, Occidental caught the Hens off-guard to take a 17-16 lead. But a kill from Frappier and an ace from Elizabeth Sun PO ’17 put an end to Oxy’s short-lived run. The Tigers fought back to a 19-19 tie, which Stephanie Sun PO '17 broke with a clean kill, followed by two consecutive blocks from Samantha Cahill PO '15, to give P-P a 22-19 lead. After Occidental fought back to make the score 23-22, Cahill delivered a kill to give the Sagehens two game points. Frappier ended the match on the second game point with her thirteenth kill.

With the win, P-P was able to hold its No. 4 rank in SCIAC, bringing it one game closer to a conference tournament bid.

The Hens will face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at Voelkel Gymnasium in what is sure to be another intense rivalry game. P-P can hardly wait for the upcoming showdown.

“We’re so excited about this game," Finn said. "We’re going to put on a good show."