Pomona-Pitzer volleyball challenged top-seeded Cal Lutheran in the semi-finals of the SCIAC tournament last Friday. The Sagehens started strong against Cal Lu, but were unable to maintain their lead against the hosting team.
In the first set, P-P hit a solid .378 with 17 Kills overall and only three errors to come back from a seven-point deficit and win 25-23. This was the first time Cal Lu dropped a first set against a SCIAC opponent. The second set looked promising as well when the Sagehens jumped out to a 20-16 lead. After this momentous start, the Hens “then lost [their] composure,” libero Heidi Leonard PO ’12 said.
After a Cal Lu side regained the lead, P-P lost 25-22 and was unable to regain the momentum from its first-set win. Leading the fight throughout the match were co-captain Eleanor Hughes PO ’11 with 17 kills and 13 digs, Leonard with 20 digs, and Kenzie Aries PI ’12 with 34 sets and nine digs.
The Regals struck back with Megan Thorpe, who slammed home a match-high 21 kills; and Allison Kerr, who recorded 20 kills and a .486 hitting percentage.
Cal Lu’s hard-hitting play against the Hens’ .088 hitting percentage in the last three sets allowed them to win the third set 25-10 and fourth set 25-16 to advance on to the SCIAC Finals last Saturday where they beat La Verne handily in three sets.
“Cal Lu is a really strong team. They’re easily the toughest competition we play every season. But they are also fun to play because we really have to come out aggressively,” Jordan Hammond PO’12 said.
P-P’s strong start against a team undefeated in league play attests to their skill and strength. While the Hens are doubtlessly disappointed their season has come to an end, they’re also upbeat about what they have accomplished this year.
“It was a good season overall. We played well and improved from last year,” Leonard said. “Beating La Verne for the first time on the road and CMS in 3 matches were big games for me.”
Hopefully, the Hens can carry their progress from this season into next year. With any luck, the story will be different the next time they face off against Cal Lu.