The women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Saturday at Ducey Gymnasium.
The Leopards were down two sets and came back in the third but were not able to hold it together in the fourth set.
“Despite the loss, we are doing much better,” head coach Jenna Panatier said. “We are working on things and you can definitely see the difference in our plays.”
Brittany Yaxley and Ashlyn Cross made kills throughout the game to put La Verne up on the scoreboard in the first set.
CMS sophomore outside hitter Audrey Breitwieser and freshman outside hitter Nicole Kerkhof led the way in the first set, ultimately handing the first set win to the Athenas, 25-18.
“It was better than the other time that we played them,” junior defensive specialist Anna Suarez said. “Slowly but surely we are coming together as a team.”
The Leopards answered back when Cross hit the ball putting La Verne just two points down, 9-7. Later Yaxley made a solid kill tying the game, 10-10.
The Leopards were not able to handle the pressure making slight mistakes, putting the Athenas up by four making the score, 15-11.
La Verne tried to regain the lead but junior middle blocker Monique Nguyen and senior setter Hilary Bruegl blocked most of the hits made by La Verne preventing the Leopards from regaining the lead, allowing the Athenas to capture the victory in set two, 25-14.
The Leopards had an early lead in the third set with an ace by Tiffany Mancuso giving La Verne a 7-2 lead.
Freshman middle blocker Kelsi Robinson and junior outside hitter Nysa Allen had consistent blocks against the Athenas extending the lead to 10-3.
Sophomore middle blocker Destinee Sales spiked the ball putting La Verne up 20-12. The Athenas tried to catch up but Robinson blocked the ball on senior setter Hilary Bruegl of CMS and La Verne came out with the win 25-14.
“We executed the game plan in set three,” head coach Jenna Panatier said. “It definitely worked for us.”
Mistakes made by CMS gave up an early lead putting La Verne up 4-3 in the fourth set.
Freshman outside hitter Nicole Kerkhof broke the tie by making a kill, and La Verne failed to save it, putting CMS up 13-9.
Sophomore outside hitter Audrey Breitwieser and freshman middle blocker Quinn Morrison blocked hits by La Verne allowing CMS to keep the lead, 15-11.
“We just need to improve on keeping our energy going,” freshman setter Tiffany Mancuso said. “Keep it on to the next set and win.”
Cross made a hit and CMS failed to block the ball putting the score at a five point deficit, 20-15. La Verne looked to come back but it was not enough as the Athenas won the fourth set and the match.
“We definitely need to keep our energy level up and just relax as a team,” Suarez said. “Our energy level plays a big part.”
The Leopards defeated Redlands 3-1 Wednesday improving to 6-21 overall and 3-9 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
Next game for women’s volleyball is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Chapman against the Panthers.
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.