Volleyball Notches First League Win in Thriller vs. La Verne

Shaking off the struggles and injuries of last season, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s volleyball team earned a thrilling five-game victory Tuesday at University of La Verne to start SCIAC play on a high note. The Sagehens improved to 6-3 on the season with the win.

P-P won its first three matches in this year’s Pacific Coast Classic at California Lutheran University, beating Franklin College, Lewis & Clark, and Benedictine University. In the final, the Sagehens fell to the Willamette University Bearcats in their first loss of the season.

Allie Frappier PO ’15 amassed 32 kills—the highest individual point total from a Sagehen in the last decade—and the Sagehens rallied to match point, but the effort was not enough to overcome Willamette.

Frappier and Michelle Schultz PO ’16, another outside-hitting powerhouse who racked up a whopping 206 kills last season, were named to the All-Tournament Team.

The Sagehens then went 2-2 at the Cal Lutheran Invitational before their most recent win at La Verne.

Frappier, a transfer student, has stood out in her young career as a Sagehen and already has made quite a name for herself. She is clearly having no problems acclimating to the Southern California sunshine—since transferring from Yale University after her second year she has dominated the outside attack, averaging over 25 kills a match. As a Bulldog on the East Coast, she was a Second-Team All-Ivy League selection her first season.

After injuries last season, Frappier has been healthy so far this year. She had 13 kills in the second game alone in Tuesday’s match—matching La Verne’s total points by herself. Kill number 28 for Frappier on the night clinched the match point in the fifth game against the Leopards for a nail-biting 16-14 victory. 

Frappier “inspires the underclassmen to put that power into every attack like she does,” teammate Sam Diaz PZ ’17 said.

Seven incoming first-years join Frappier and Kylie Deutschman PZ ’15, who transferred from Skidmore College, as new members of the team, so the squad will need time to build chemistry. Sparks are already flying, however, according to Diaz.

“This team has a lot of spirit, and we all work really hard in practice to carry that work ethic over to matches,” Diaz said. 

That spirit has been a critical component to this season’s success, especially in hard-fought matches like Tuesday’s five-game roller coaster.

P-P jumped ahead with an 18-11 lead and stayed on top to fight off a late Leopard rally to win the first game 25-23. Frappier’s dominant performance propelled the Sagehens to a decisive 25-13 victory in the second.

La Verne mounted a strong comeback, winning the next two games to send the match to the decisive fifth game. Kirea Mazzolini PO ’15 sparked a five-point rally with two aces, propelling the Sagehens to a 10-5 lead. Mazzolini and Frappier added three kills and a crucial block as the Sagehens put away the Leopards.

P-P was boosted by strong performances from defensive specialist Beth Smilkstein PO ’14, who scooped 24 digs on the night, and setter Dani Kritter PO ’15, who added 20 assists.

The Sagehens will take on Cal Lutheran next week, and then Caltech and Occidental College will follow at home.

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