The Frantz Athletic Court stands were packed with Leopard supporters Friday night as the women’s volleyball team opened its Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule with a 3-1 win Friday night against Pomona-Pitzer.
La Verne had a 2-1 set lead before gaining the 25-21 victory over the Sagehens in the fourth set.
“It’s great to play for a school but it’s amazing to play for a school that gives the support that La Verne gives,” head coach Jenna Panatier said.
The Leopards began the game winning the first two sets before losing the third match.
“There were ups and downs tonight, but we capitalized on starting the game strong and finishing it,” junior defensive specialist/libero Morgan Donohue said.
The team closed out Friday night with a seven game winning streak.
“We are very excited to start the SCIAC season with a win,” Panatier said. “As they believe in themselves, the momentum will continue.”
“We want to win NCAA championships,” Donahue said. “We are just taking one game at a time.”
La Verne was able to maintain their lead in their first match thanks to their .278 hitting percentage.
The score was going back and forth until the game was tied 11-11.
The Leopards took the lead while maintaining a three-point lead ending the opening set with kill by senior middle blocker Catie Logan closing out it out at 25-16.
The Sagehens took an early lead during the second set, 7-4 .
The Leopards took that lead and gained seven points, giving them the advantage with 11-8.
The women continued with the advantage finishing with a 25-18 set win.
The third set was stolen from the Leopards after having a tie of 17-17.
The Sagehens continued the set gaining six consecutive points to grab 23-17 lead from the Leopards.
Pomona-Pitzer ended the set 25-19 taking the win and leaving the game at 2-1.
“We were a little bit nervous, but it’s all gone now,” Donohue said.
The Leopards closed out the game in the fourth set ending in 25-21.
Senior outside hitter Randi Taylor-Toomay got a match high of 13 kills and Logan added 11 kills.
Senior setter Kendall Kraiss achieved 29 assists in the fourth while Donahue gathered 29 digs.
“The women on our team are amazing people and when they believe they are amazing athletes, that’s when the magic happens.” Panatier said.
“We feel pretty good right now,” sophomore setter Krystal Castellanos said. “We feel confident to get some work done.”
La Verne faced off against conference rivals Cal Lutheran on Tuesday in Thousand Oaks, falling 3-2.
The Leopards have an 8-2 overall record and are 1-1 in SCIAC, good for a fifth place tie in the conference standings.
The squad travels to Redlands for its next match at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs are currently tied for last place in SCIAC, with an 0-3 record, and 3-5 overall.
Taylor Perez-Graham can be reached at email@example.com.