Regals are SCIAC Champs Again

The California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team continued their strong postseason presence hosting the semi-final and final matches against Pomona-Pitzer and No. 4. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, respectively. The Regals won six straight sets to claim the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament Championship Title for the seventh season in a row.

“We talked a lot about us rather than who we’re playing. We focused more on what we needed to do together as the 17 of us and how we play as one instead of who our opponent is,” junior middle blocker Molly Holloway said.

Cal Lutheran defeated the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens 3-0 Nov. 3 in the semi-final game. The Regals started off strong and took an assertive lead over the Sagehens. The Regals only allowed Pomona-Pitzer nine points in the entire set.

Junior outside hitter Hope Stewart helped out on service with a seven-point scoring run to put the Regals up 22-7. Cal Lutheran was able to hold off the Sagehens for the next three points and took the set 25-9.

The second set started off with eight straight points by the Regals. Cal Lutheran took the lead and ran with it for the remainder of the set, winning it 25-19.

Victorious: (L to R) #11 Nicki Tetherow, #8 Jamie Smith, #17 Michelle Lawrence and #9 Monica Lundgren. Lawrence attacks the ball for the Regals in the Final SCIAC match-up against CMS on Saturday. Photo Credit--Annette Sousa Staff Photographer
Victorious: (L to R) #11 Nicki Tetherow, #8 Jamie Smith, #17 Michelle Lawrence and #9 Monica Lundgren. Lawrence attacks the ball for the Regals in the Final SCIAC match-up against CMS on Saturday.
Photo Credit–Annette Sousa Staff Photographer

The Sagehens started on top in the third set but the Regals never stopped pushing. They regained the lead at 14-6 and didn’t give it up. The Sagehens were unable to close the gap and Cal Lutheran pulled out the win 25-20.

Nov. 5 was the day to watch as the two top SCIAC opponents went up for the Championship title and automatic bid into the NCAA DIII Regional Tournament. The Athenas, ranked No. 4 nationally and No. 2 in the tournament played the Regals, ranked No. 2 nationally and No. 1 in the tournament.

“We just haven’t been thinking about it, we’re trying to win one game at a time right now. I think the kids are in the right mindset. They’re really trying to focus on the present,” Head Coach Kellee Roesel said.

The Regals were able to finish the season strong by sweeping the Athenas in the final. However, the first set was a battle for the Regals.

Initially the Regals started off strong with a 4-2 lead, but the Athenas did not give up. They continued to play hard and both teams traded leads multiple times. At one point the match was as close as 19-17. The Violet and Gold scored four straight points consecutively in order to win the hard-fought match 25-21.

“I think we were really just staying positive and keeping the energy up and really focusing on our serves,” senior middle blocker Sarah Pappas said.

The Violet and Gold started the second set off with a strong 10-4 lead over the Athenas. CMS continued to battle and caught up 13-11 but that was not enough to win the set. The Regals finished  it 25-19.

Stewart helped the team score five straight points while serving to give the Regals an early lead in the third set. The Regals grew their lead to 16-8 and managed to keep the Athenas on the defensive. They took the set 25-16 winning the game and the postseason championship title.

“For a lot of us this could be our last home game we play here so we were just trying to enjoy every second of it…It’s just putting all my heart into every game and practice,” Pappas said.

With this win Cal Lutheran recieved an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Tournament.

The Regional Tournament will take place  at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, in Minnesota Nov. 10-12. The Regals will compete against Concordia University of Wisconsin for the First Round o Regional play. The Regals look to repeat their National Championship win this year.

Courtney Sooy
Sports Editor


Anissa Frajio
Staff Writer