Regals volleyball secures postseason tournament spot

The Regals celebrate their 3-1 victory against Chapman University on Thursday, Nov 1. Photo by Joc Smith - Photojournalist
The Regals celebrate their 3-1 victory against Chapman University on Thursday, Nov 1.
Photo by Joc Smith – Photojournalist

The California Lutheran University Regals volleyball team will advance to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship, as they defeated the Chapman University Panthers in a dominant performance.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Regals took to the court in a high-stakes semi-final match where the losers faced elimination.

In a highly speculated match between the second and third place teams, the Regals sat at 27-10 on the season with a 11-5 conference record. Both teams tied the season record against each other at one game each, beating each other at home.

With the first set underway, the Regals took off with a strong lead that propelled them to win the first set 25-10 with three service aces from the Regals.

With momentum on the Regals’ side, they hoped to bring the same energy into the second set.

After a slow start trailing 6-0, the Regals bounced back to tie the score, eventually winning the second set 25-13.

With only one more win needed to take the match, the Regals moved into a tough third set. The Panthers gave the Regals their first competitive set, beating Cal Lutheran 25-19.

Coming off the third set, Assistant Coach Allie Eason said, “we know Chapman is going to battle back. It was nothing new, it’s what we are used to. Just keep playing our game and keep playing together.”

The Regals took the match into the fourth and final set, which they won 26-24.

“That was fun…We kicked butt right from the start…It always feels so good to know that we get to practice and play for another day,” senior outside hitter Amanda Roberts said.

With the season on the line, the Regals stepped up to the net and dominated the night. With 12.5 blocks and many other tipped balls, the Regals were a force to be reckoned with at the net.

“It’s the most fun in the postseason. Every team plays hard and every game is a fight. That’s what you play volleyball for. You don’t play for the easy matches,” Roberts said.

Some seniors on the team played knowing it could have been their last the last match of their collegiate careers.

“Anytime the girls go out and execute the game plan and play with a lot of love for each other, it’s a fun day to be a coach,” Eason said.

Eason is an alumna of Cal Lutheran and was a member of the national championship women’s volleyball team in 2015 now serving on the coaching staff for the Regals.

“Keep playing for each other and play with a lot of love for the game,” Eason said. She said the team uses this phrase as a motto to follow in the postseason.

The Regals will fight for the 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship in their upcoming match in Chicago.

“It’s going to be heart. Purely heart and leaving everything we have out on the court,” sophomore setter Jennifer Kent said.

Similar to Cal Lutheran’s 2015 National Championship team, this year’s Regals seem to have peaked at the right time.

“Coach [Roesel] always tells us to play out of love because that’s when we play our best volleyball,” Kent said.

After falling to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas 3-0 on Saturday, Nov. 3, the Regals received an at-large berth and will face Illinois Wesleyan University in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.

Joe Zimmerly