The California Lutheran University Regals handled the Occidental Tigers in a 3-1 victory. The match took place on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center. This win preserved the Regals perfect home record this season.
After losing a five-set match to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps the previous night, Cal Lutheran prevailed with a strong performance. The Regals controlled the match by commanding the first two sets. Occidental won the third set, but the Regals completely dominated the fourth and final set.
Junior libero Nicki Tetherow showed her superb ball control with a team high 23 digs. Senior outside hitter Allie Eason contributed with seven kills and 10 digs to add to her tally.
“I thought we played really well. I thought we played great in the first, second, and fourth sets,” Head Coach Kellee Roesel said. “Ball control was key. You saw us struggle with that in the third set. Allie Eason and Nicki Tetherow are the best ball control kids in the nation. We did a good job of getting the ball to the middle.”
Occidental got out to an early 4-0 lead in the first set. The Regals quickly replied by taking a 14-8 lead after a momentum-swinging kill by junior middle blocker Sarah Pappas after a long rally. A Tetherow ace uplifted the team and Cal Lutheran never looked back as they held the lead for the rest of the set. The Regals won the set 25-12.
Cal Lutheran started the second set with a 4-0 run. They never trailed in the set as Pappas, junior middle blocker Monica Lundgren, and senior right side hitter Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira dominated at the net. The trio would combine for 23 kills with Pappas leading the way with 14. The Regals cruised to a 25-16 second-set victory to take a two-set lead.
“I think staying aggressive at the net was key. It kept the momentum going our way,” Lundgren said. “I think keeping our energy up really helps our team. We fought well and dug deep tonight.”
Cal Lutheran struggled in the third set when the Tigers took a 13-7 lead. A long rally won on a kill by Occidental’s Amanda Herold temporarily shifted the momentum. The Regals were unable to make a comeback and the Tigers took the set 25-16.
The fourth set exemplified the Regals dominance when they started with a 9-3 lead. Lundgren slammed down multiple kills to put the game away. Cal Lutheran put together a pair of five-point rallies. The Regals would not surrender their fourth set lead and would go on to win 25-10 when Hope Stewart finished the match with a kill. This would cap off a 3-1 victory.
“We continued to transition off the net and were able to hit. We were really exhausted after the five-set game yesterday,” Pappas said. “We just dug deep and went up for the ball every time.”
Jamie Smith lead the Regals with 33 assists. Outside hitter Michelle Lawerence performed well as she slammed seven kills and picked up eight digs.
Cal Lutheran improved to 21-4 and 11-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Occidental fell to 9-13 overall and 5-9 in the SCIAC. Cal Lutheran will play Redlands at home on Oct. 30 as they look to improve their conference record.
Published October 28th, 2015