Leopards snap No. 6 Regals SCIAC winning streak

The California Lutheran University Regals volleyball team came out on top as they overpowered Whittier on Oct. 17 at Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, pulling away with a 3-0 sweep.

The win came on the heels of a loss to the University of La Verne, where the Regals dropped the last three sets after winning the first two. The loss snapped a 10-game Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match winning streak.

“We made a ton of errors and basically gave La Verne the match. So we knew that Whittier was going to be tough. I thought the kids that were able to come in and make a difference were huge for us tonight,” Head Coach Kellee Roesel said.

Whittier took an early 4-1 lead. Yet the Poets’ strong lead didn’t last for long as the Regals regained control, allowing the home team to strike with 6-5.

Both teams alternately took turns in collecting points for most of the first half, resulting in a mere difference in scores. However, assisting kills from junior middle blocker Sarah Pappas and senior outside hitter Allie Eason moved the end score up to 23-16.

Contributing several points, outside hitter Michelle Lawrence spiked the ball and sophomore setter Jamie Smith achieved a point as the ball hit the out of bounds on the Poets’ side.

“[What they lacked was] serve receive, their ball control. When we serve [Whittier] the ball, they have a hard time staying in the system. So they couldn’t necessarily pass it right to the center and that forced them to only have one option offensively,” Roesel said.

The second match started with both teams rallying back and forth with the ball, mostly maintaining a tie in score. The match took a turn when junior libero Nicki Tetherow served up two aces, preventing the Poets from hitting the ball. The Regals took the set 25-18.

“We work 100 percent all the time. Practices feel like games but harder because they’re three hours long rather than an hour and a half or two. We’re always pushing each other to get better as a team and keep moving forward,” Tetherow said.

After an unswerving tie in the third match, the Regals went on a tear with nine consecutive points. One ball was spiked so hard that it hit the stands as well as the game broadcaster.

With assists from her teammates, freshman outside hitter Amanda Roberts completed several sideway dives and rolled over the ground in order to attempt a few kills.

“We have a great level of teamwork. We’ve gotten along really well since day one and that continues to keep happening. Knowing that your teammates have your back no matter what is a great feeling,” Roberts said.

As the teams hit the ball back and forth during the crucial last match, the home crowd went wild with enthusiasm, propelling the Regals to a 25-13 third set, match-clinching victory.

As soon as the last kill was served, chants and smiles erupted from the fans of the Regals. Some spirited members of the Kingsmen football and volleyball teams came to support them.

“I love playing at home. I love the Purple Pit. They are awesome fans. Just being at home and wanting to stand up for your home court is such a good feeling. But being away is fun too because I love all the fans that try to mess with you. That gets real fun,” Tetherow said.

The next conference game will take place at Claremont-Mudd Scripps where the Regals will battle the Athenas on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

“Postseason is critical and we want to get to Michigan at some point for national championships,” Roberts said. “So, we’re just going to keep focusing on the next game, the next point, taking it day by day and just keep getting better.”

Leina Rayshouny
Staff Writer
Published October 21st, 2015