Sagehens Beat Down Beavers in 3-0 Sweep

Stephanie Sun PO ’17 leaps to slam the ball over the net in P-P’s game against Caltech last Saturday, Sept. 17

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s volleyball team (5-4, 1-0 SCIAC) made quick work of the California Institute of Technology Beavers (1-4, 0-1 SCIAC), winning all three sets on Saturday. Never once giving up the lead all night, the Sagehens demolished their SCIAC rival, picking up their first division win and rising above .500 overall in the process.

The first set of the match established the tone for the night, with the Pomona-Pitzer team tallying up an impressive score of 25-16. The second set followed suit: The Hens won by exactly the same score of 25-16. The last set of the game, however, the Sagehens really dished it out, winning by a score of 25-9, their largest margin of victory yet this season. Although the Beavers managed to pull close multiple times, P-P took early leads in all three sets, pulling away at the end of each set to seal the victory.

“We need to improve on our consistency and reducing errors,” Coach Valerie Townsend said when asked about where the team could improve most. Now in her 17th season as a coach for P-P, Townsend has seen the team through ups and downs, and has high aspirations for this team in the coming season.

“This year in SCIAC … can be anyone’s game,” Townsend remarked. “[I feel] like we are in a good spot and as long as we focus on our side of the court, we can do some great things.” This is despite the fact that exactly half the team is new to the program, something that doesn’t faze her in the slightest. “There is a ton of potential with this group” she boasted, “so we are excited about what we accomplish this season in one of the toughest conferences in Division III.”

The reason the Hens will reach that potential? They’re never satisfied with anything less than their best. Even when the scoreboard proclaims a flawless victory, P-P relentlessly seeks to improve on any and all mistakes.

“Caltech got in our heads,” Christine Covode PZ ’19 said. “We played down to them.”

One of the eight new members to the team, Covode also has high expectations for her Sagehens.

“As a team, we’re really skilled,” she expressed. “It’s just a matter of putting it all together [and] keeping energy up and talking, communicat[ing].”

Some of the Sagehens managed to put up exciting numbers in their routing of Caltech. Julia Zwaal PZ ’19 displayed her dominance on the court, with 12 kills to her name by night’s end. Sarah Gamble PO ’16 scored with two service aces and two kills, while Natalie Martin PZ ’17 racked up an awe inspiring 11 digs and two assists. P-P out-played the Beavers all around, nabbing them in kills 47-32 and doubling the Beavers in aces 6-3.

Sagehen fans can look forward to a heated home match against the University of Redlands Bulldogs (8-2, 1-1 SCIAC) on Friday, Sept. 23.

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