The Pomona-Pitzer volleyball team lost a frustrating match against host Chapman Wednesday night. The Sagehens were undone by many of the same mistakes that have plagued them all season: they fell behind early, committed several errors, and never quite polished their attack.
In what is becoming a familiar refrain, the Sagehens trailed early; Chapman ran out to a 20-9 lead to start the match. They then demonstrated the talent that makes them a legitimate threat, going on a 10-3 run to come within four points of Chapman. They were unable to complete the comeback, however, losing the first set 20-25. The next two sets were more of the same, minus the spirited comeback. The Sagehens fell behind by 10-2 and 10-4 in the second and third sets respectively before going on to lose 13-25 and 15-25.
Pomona-Pitzer struggled offensively, hitting -.024, with only 18 kills in 124 total attacks. Errors hurt the women, particularly in the third set. Ellen Yamasaki PZ ’15 led the Sagehens with five kills. Defensively, libero Heidi Leonard PO ’11 led the team with 19 kills.
The loss was especially frustrating for the Sagehens, because they feel that they are not playing up to their potential.
“We need to get our act together,” Leonard said. “We should not be losing to all these teams.”
In the past, coach Valerie Cowan has spoken of “controlling our side of the court.” Leonard explained that this means “playing our game, not caring about what the other team is doing. That means passing well, hitting well, and not making errors.”
Early deficits continued to haunt the Sagehens. Despite their talent, they have continually allowed opponents to open up big leads to begin a set. “We need to kick it up a notch,” Leonard said. “We don’t realize what the score is until it’s too late; we wait too long to step it up.”
The loss dropped the Sagehens to a 5-13 record for the season. Chapman was a non-conference opponent, so the Sagehens remain a game and half behind La Verne for the fourth spot in SCIAC. Leonard stays confident that the Sagehens can raise their level of play and make up ground in SCIAC.
“I believe we can beat every team in our conference,” Leonard said.
The volleyball team will resume conference play on Tuesday when they cross Sixth Street to play rival CMS in a game critical to their playoff hopes. In September, the Athenas won a narrow four-set match, but the Sagehens will be well-rested and come into the game with something to prove.