The Pomona-Pitzer vollyeball team knew going into their match with La Verne that their playoff hopes were on the line. Only the top four teams in SCIAC advance to the conference tournament, and the Sagehens needed to win their final two games to have a shot at the fourth spot. Unfortunately, the Sagehens finished their season with losses to both La Verne and Cal Lu.
The Sagehens started strong against La Verne, taking a 14-9 lead behind four kills from Ellen Yamasaki PZ ’15, but they were unable to hold off a Leopard surge, losing the first set 22-25. The second set was hotly contested before the Leopards ran off on a 6-0 run to take control midway through the set en route to a final score of 25-15. La Verne’s attack had its finest performance of the night in the third and final set, as the Leopards had 15 kills and only 2 errors in 30 total attacks, again winning 25-15.
Setter Dani Kritter PO ’15 led the Sagehens with 14 assists, and libero Heidi Leonard PO ’12 added 17 digs. Outside hitter Rachel Bollens PO ’14 contributed eight kills and led all players with three block assists.
Tuesday night was the Sagehens’ season finale. Before the game, seniors Leonard, Kenzie Aries PZ ’12, Carolyn Hite PO ’12, and Jordan Hammond PO ’12 were honored for their contributions to the P-P volleyball program.
After the pregame ceremonies, the Sagehens stumbled out of the block against the nationally ranked and conference-leading Regals. They had only four kills in the first set, which Cal Lu took easily with a score of 25-12. The second and third sets were much more competitive, as the Sagehens settled in and developed a strong attack. In the final set, the Sagehens had a better hitting percentage and fewer errors than Cal Lu. However, the Regals were able to pull out crucial points at the end of both sets, winning 25-21 and 25-22.
Hammond led the Sagehens with nine kills, and Bollens led all players with six blocks. Leonard led all players with 19 digs, boosting her record career total to 1,896. For the season, Yamasaki led the Sagehens in kills with 230, and Aries’s 444 assists were tops on the team.
The Sagehens finished 7-19 on the season and 5-9 in the SCIAC. Their final record was not what players had hoped for, but there were positive moments in the season.
“Obviously, we weren’t the most successful team, but we were the most cohesive unit,” Hammond said.
Leonard agreed, saying, “We’ve had more success, but the last game was fun.”