Oct. 26 marked yet another chapter for the California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team in their already impressive story as they clinched a share of their fourth straight SCIAC title defeating Redlands 3-0.
The three time defending champions also went perfect earlier in the day overcoming University of California Santa Clara 3-0.
The Regals excelled in all aspects of the game as the Redlands matchup was smooth sailing for the Regals.
Senior middle blocker Haley Tamagni along with freshman middle blocker Monica Lundgren got off to an aggressive start, knocking down a combined total of nine kills in the first set. The strong play was continued through the second set by sophomore outside hitter Allie Eason and sophomore right side hitter Caitlin Fransen as the Regals took a 14 point lead by the middle of the second set. Finally, junior outside hitter Hannah Orlandi led the Regals in the last set by collecting five kills as the Regals recorded their 25th straight SCIAC regular season win (dating back to last year) along with a share of their fourth straight SCIAC title.
However, the continued success of the volleyball program is not attributed to talent alone.
“Our successes come from how hard we work,” Tamagni said. “No matter what one’s role is, everyone works as hard as they can, puts in extra work outside of practice and pushes the girl ahead of her to be better. Coach always says we have the first and second best teams in the SCIAC (our starters and our reserves) and it’s just a tribute to our hard work.”
This hard work along with other characteristics have been central to the continued success of Regals volleyball.
The Redlands game was a firsthand representation of the team’s tenacity going into the final portion of the season.
“The mindset going into the third set against Redlands was just to stay aggressive and work hard until the last point,” Orlandi said. “When you win the first two sets in any game, the objective is always to keep pushing and never let the energy subside.”
“When all the hard work comes together, we try and see it as just another opportunity to improve and keep building,” Eason said.
The perception of this year’s volleyball team reflects that attitude of motivation and dedication.
“I think having a successful sports program helps build a little bit more spirit around campus. Students and teachers congratulate us often and the word travels about us, so it helps bring awareness to our CLU sports programs beyond just volleyball,” Tamagni said.
Based on past success, it is evident that the Regals want to see the other CLU programs enjoy the success that they have experienced this season. The winning attitude is contagious and by displaying their hard work and dedication, CLU volleyball hopes that its mindset will spread. With eight games remaining before the conference tournament, the team’s objective is to win SCIAC outright and contend for a national championship. Falling short in last year’s regional came as a disappointment, but if anything, the Regals are taking it as an opportunity for improvement.
Published Oct. 30, 2013