LV opens season undefeated, 5-0

Right side hitter Madison Bradley of the University of La Verne makes a kill in the first game against Willamette University in the Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday. The Leopards went 4-0 in the Pacific Coast Classic, sweeping all four teams in three games each. / photo by Kelly Rivas
Right side hitter Madison Bradley of the University of La Verne makes a kill in the first game against Willamette University in the Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday. The Leopards went 4-0 in the Pacific Coast Classic, sweeping all four teams in three games each. / photo by Kelly Rivas

Morgan Dobis
Staff Writer

The women’s volleyball team wrapped up the Pacific Coast Classic in Claremont on Saturday, defeating Willamette University from Oregon to finish the weekend with a undefeated record of 4-0.

Willamette was an interesting match up for the Leopards because the team is coached by former La Verne All-American Tricia Wright.

The Leopards, nationally ranked third in Division III, finished their final games of the tournament on a strong note, defeating Willamette 30-23, 30-17, 30-19, led by captain Leslie Flores with 41 assists.

Junior Jodi Lindsay added six kills in just one game of play.

In the second game of the day, the Leopards took the opportunity to get everyone some playing time and even tried out their four new freshmen.

“We wanted to give people opportunities in live situations, and they have earned the right to play,” head coach Don Flora said.

Flora was really working the pieces of his puzzle and the freshmen rose to the challenge. Freshman Ashley Morgado had 11 kills and Lia Chun had 16 digs and six kills against the Bears.

“The freshmen played really good today and that shows what kind of depth we have on our team,” junior Katherine Randall said.

Also on Saturday, La Verne enjoyed a sweeping victory over Vangard University.

La Verne topped Vangard, ranked No. 25 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes, 30-18, 30-20, 30-17.

Lindsay lead the offense with 12 kills while Tiona Hobson and Megan Powers had seven kills each. Kranz had another great game with a match high of 28 digs along with five services aces.

The Leopards opened the season Sept. 7, hosting Whitworth College from Washington on the new Frantz Athletic Court.

Whitworth is ranked No. 20 in the nation, but was no match for the Leopards and were defeated in just three games, 30-22, 30-20, 30-21.

Whitworth was an important matchup for the Leopards as the team headed against them last year in the West Region Championship for the title. The Leopards emerged victorious from that game 3-0.

The La Verne seniors came ready to play.

Defensive specialist Lauren Friestad had a great opening night with a match high of 22 digs and setter Leslie Flores had 35 assists along with 11 digs.

On Sept. 8, the Leopards dominated the Pacific Coast Classic with wins over Eastern University from Pennsylvania, 30-22, 30-11, 30-17, and another victory over nationally ranked No.23 team, Cal State East Bay, 30-19, 30-27,30-26.

“As a team we needed to prove to ourselves and everyone else that we are gonna be a tough team to beat this year and this tournament gave us more confidence heading into our next tournament and then conference,” Kranz said.

The Leopards head to Oregon this week to play Lewis and Clark, Whitworth and George Fox.

Morgan Dobis can be reached at m.dobis15@yahoo.com.

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