by Ryan Allen
Arts & Entertainment Editor
After coming off one of its best wins of the season against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), 15-11, 15-7, 8-15, 15-8, the University of La Verne women’s volleyball team fell short against the always-competitive Chapman but bounced right back and defeated Pomona-Pitzer, 15-5, 15-6, 17-15.
“Three weeks ago, we barely beat Claremont in five, and now we come back and beat them in four, handily, it was never in question,” said Don Flora, ULV women’s volleyball head coach, about the CMS match Friday.
This might be the reason the loss to Chapman on Saturday was so difficult. ULV lost to the Panthers in five games, 15-9, 12-15, 15-4, 11-15, 15-11, after getting “rolled in three” games, Flora said, the last time these two teams squared off.
The first game included runs by both teams. Chapman would take the lead until ULV tied the score, 7-7. The Panthers finally surged ahead to win the game, 15-9.
Game two began with back-to-back aces, one from each team. Chapman would then go on another run and take a commanding 7-2 lead. The Leopards staged a run of their own and eventually tied the game again, 7-7. This time, it would be ULV that established a lead, holding the advantage for the remainder of the game.
The tough serving of sophomore right-side hitter Amy Brummel, who compiled seven kills, five digs and three total blocks in the match, finished out the game for the Leopards, 15-12.
Right when it looked as if the Leopards were right back in the match, Chapman thwarted the Leopards in the third game, taking a 10-3 lead. Flora made a number of substitutions to try and slow down the momentum of the Panthers, including bringing in freshman setter Andrea Van Willigan (21 assists) for junior setter Michelle Louie, who finished the match with 25 assists.
ULV managed to get one more point off the Panthers before Chapman won 15-4 due to the lack of La Verne intensity.
With their backs against the wall, the Leopards came out strong and took a 10-4 lead, which almost mirrored game three, except for the fact it was ULV which held the lead. Chapman staged a late comeback, but La Verne finally finished them off, 15-11.
In the final and deciding game, La Verne, playing off its momentum from game four, took a 4-1 lead. Chapman staged a comeback, this time early enough to make a big difference. The Panthers took an 8-5 lead and never looked back. Due to a string of ULV errors, including two missed serves, Chapman was able to win the two-hour match.
By all means, the Leopards could have won that match because La Verne had more kills (54-43), assists (47-34), digs (37-27), total team blocks (8-7) and even had a better hitting percentage (.135-.132). However, La Verne also had more ball handling errors (15-9), service errors (18-10) and service receiving errors (9-5), which made the difference between a big win and a tough loss.
“We didn’t have the energy we had last night against Claremont,” said junior middle blocker Sarah Henry. “We need to play against Pomona the way we played against Claremont.”
Henry also said that La Verne does not normally play that well when it is on the road, so that is why La Verne needed to assure they were fired up for Pomona-Pitzer.
Henry, who had a big game on Saturday against Chapman, leading the match with 18 kills, also led both teams in kills against Pomona-Pitzer with a total of 16 while hitting .467 as well.
The Leopards played well against the Sagehens, as they not only beat them on the score board but in the individual categories as well.
The Leopards improved their record to 11-13 and 7-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
La Verne goes on the road tomorrow, as the Leopards face UC San Diego in La Jolla at 7 p.m.