Sagehens Overpower Rose-Hulman in Five Sets, Fall to Cal Lutheran

Pomona-Pitzer volleyball split two games over the weekend, falling to California Lutheran University but earning a win over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The Sagehens entered their non-conference match against the Rose-Hulman Fightin’ Engineers on Saturday morning riding a five-match winning streak. Coach Valerie Cowan chose to rest a majority of the usual starters, giving four
first-years a spot on the court instead.

The first game opened to a
4-0 P-P lead, and then Stephanie Sun PO ’17 and Beth Smilkstein PO ’14 each
served up an ace, bringing the score to 8-3. Sarah Gamble PO ’17 and
Ellen Yamasaki PZ ’15 blocked an Engineer kill
attempt. Rose-Hulman coach Brenda Goble called two time-outs to try to stem the tide as the
Hens stretched their lead to nine points, but to no avail. On her first play of the
match, Lena Fox PO ’17 scored with a kill, then secured the Hens’ final
two points through a block with Gamble and another
kill of her own.

The Engineers took an
early lead in the second game, but kills from Fox and Gamble gave the Sagehens a fighting chance as they brought the
score to 5-10 to spark a Hens comeback. Kelli Derrah PO ’17 added
two kills, and Elizabeth Sun PO ’17 notched an ace
as P-P took a 12-11 lead. Then Rose-Hulman took control of the board
again, scoring five in a row. Fox had a pair of kills, but the Engineers
kept pushing and ended up taking the game, 25-18.

The third game was tighter, with the two teams tying at one, then
six, seven, and eight. Derrah added a pair of kills and an ace from
Gamble tied the score again at 16. Stephanie Sun’s
kill tied it at 17, and Derrah’s kill at 18. The Engineers took the
next seven points in a row, broken up only by another two kills from
Derrah, and claimed victory to lead the match score 2-1.

Derrah opened the fourth
game with yet another kill. Yamasaki followed suit, adding three consecutive kills
of her own, but the Engineers managed to tie it back up at seven.
Yamasaki slammed another trio of kills, an Emma Burdekin PO ’16 and Derrah
block brought the score to 21-17, and a block from Gamble and Fox
secured the final point for the Hens.

The Hens jumped out early in game five
4-0, thanks to Derrah’s block and pair of kills. The Engineers
tightened the score with three in a row, but P-P refused to relinquish the lead. Rose-Hulman called two time-outs, but
two kills each from Yamasaki and Fox contributed to a six-point run
and Gamble slammed the final kill, winning the match 15-7.

With a win under their belt, the Sagehens prepared to face Cal Lu for their second game of the day. The last time P-P played
Cal Lu, it was a hard-fought battle to the last point, and this match-up
was no different. The first game was quickly tied up 3-3 from a pair of
Cal Lu blocks and a pair of Derrah kills.
Allie Frappier PO ’15 added four kills in quick succession, bringing the
score to 7-5. Michelle Schultz PO ’16 hit a pair of kills and Elizabeth
Sun served up an ace, forcing a Regals time-out. An ace and a couple
kills from the Regals brought the score within
two, but Frappier added two more kills to give P-P the first game.

Cal Lu took the lead early in
the second game, and the Hens struggled to catch up. Kills from
Yamasaki and a Sam Cahil PO ’15 and Derrah block brought the score to 6-9, but the
Regals served up a pair of aces and stayed on top.
Then P-P scored five in a row, and although Cal Lu tacked on a few more
points, the Hens scored four more in a row with a kill and ace from
Schultz. Frappier slammed two kills in a row to tie the game at 24, then
it was tied at 25, 26, and 27. Finally, the Regals
managed to break the tie and grab the win, 29-27.

Cal Lu started the third
game with a pair of blocks to jump ahead 6-2. Yamasaki answered with a
pair of kills, but the Hens fell behind again 13-7. Frappier added four
kills, making the score 14-11, and Coach Cowan
called a time out as the Regals added four more points of their own.
Both teams swapped kills, and then Cal Lu went on a five-point run to
clinch the third game.

Kills from Frappier and
Yamasaki gave P-P momentum in the fourth game, although the Hens were already behind
4-5. A Cal Lu error tied it up at 6, then again at seven, and Yamasaki slammed a
kill to tie it at eight. The score was tied
at nine by a Frappier kill, then at 10, 11, and 12. The Regals used a
five-point run to grab the lead, 17-12. The Hens clawed their way back
up to tie the score (for the eighth time in the game) at 20, then again
at 21 and 22. Cowan called another time-out to regroup when the Regals surged ahead 24-22, but despite a 
Frappier kill, Cal Lu secured the match with a 25-23 win in the
fourth game.

Frappier matched her
career-high kill total with 32 in the match, and Derrah had a career-record 19 kills against Rose-Hulman. The loss against Cal Lu snapped the
Hens’ six-match winning streak, putting P-P at 15-7 overall and 7-4 in SCIAC.

P-P will be back in action on Friday at Occidental College at 7:30 p.m., and will host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in Voelkel Gym on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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