LV clinches volleyball playoff berth

La Verne junior outside hitter Brittany Yaxley tips the ball away from Redlands’ middle blockers junior Cierra Stevens and freshman Kiersten Langerud to get the point in the third set of the game Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court. The Leopards trounced the Bulldogs, 3-0./ photo by Amanda Duvall
La Verne junior outside hitter Brittany Yaxley tips the ball away from Redlands’ middle blockers junior Cierra Stevens and freshman Kiersten Langerud to get the point in the third set of the game Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court. The Leopards trounced the Bulldogs, 3-0. / photo by Amanda Duvall

Annabel Secaida
Staff Writer

The women’s volleyball team dominated the Redland Bulldogs Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court, 3-0.

La Verne showed their true athleticism against Redlands, winning all three sets by at least ten points.

“The highlight of the game was honestly our balance,” head coach Jenna Panatier said. “I’m proud of our team because we were able to maintain a high level of energy.”

With a total of 40 kills throughout the game, La Verne hit .421 as a team.

Although the Bulldogs managed to get a 4-1 lead in the first set, the Leopards fought back with kills made by sophomore middle blocker Kelsi Robinson and won the set. 25-15.

Robinson had six kills in the first set for La Verne and is also ranked eighth nationally in blocks per set at 1.28.

In the second set, the Leopards took a 3-0 lead and kept it throughout the game.

With back-to-back kills made by Yaxley, junior outside hitter Ashlyn Cross and junior middle blocker Destinee Sales, kept the Bulldogs from taking the lead.

“I think we did a good job to maintaining our goals because we set a lot before the game,” Yaxley said. “It’s always good to get some serves in to help out my team.”

Yaxley finished with nine kills. In the third and final set La Verne set the bar high with a 5-0 lead.

Their hard work and chemistry showed on the court as they dominated Redlands in a 25-11 victory with a final kill made by senior outside hitter Nysa Allen.

Most of the points Redlands received were from La Verne’s small mistakes.

“Being able to see other girls get out there on the court and see them out there score some points was great,” Allen said.

Allen added seven kills for La Verne.

Winning eight of the last nine conference games and adding another win in the books, the Leopards are 18-3 overall and 10-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Leopards also defeated Chapman Tuesday at Hutton Sports Center, 3-2, clinching a spot in the four-team SCIAC postseason tournament.

La Verne fought hard and pushed through five sets.

This marks the Leopards seventh consecutive win.

The Leopards won the first two sets, 25-13, 25-17 and fell in the next two leading into a fifth set.

A kill by Cross sealed the win for the Leopards, 15-13.

Cross had 14 kills and a match-high of 18 digs.

Yaxley finished with a match-high of 22 kills, along with 11 digs.

The Leopards are tied for second place in SCIAC behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

The Leopards are also ranked No. 26 in the country.

The team will face Caltech at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Frantz Athletic Court, where they will play to celebrate Cancer Awareness Day.

Annabel Secaida can be reached at annabel.secaida@laverne.edu.

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