ORANGE, Calif. – The No. 3-ranked Cal Lutheran University volleyball team nixed any thoughts of an upset on Tuesday night, disposing of host Chapman University in five sets (25-13, 17-25, 24-26, 25-21, 15-5) at the Hutton Center for its 20th consecutive win this season. The Regals clinched their fourth straight SCIAC title outright and dropped Chapman into a tie for second with two matches remaining.
Cal Lutheran (26-1 overall, 14-0 SCIAC) rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit to take the fourth set and then – much like it began the match – handed the Panthers a lopsided loss in the fifth and deciding set, 15-5.
The Regals jumped out to a dominating 23-6 lead in the first set before Chapman (17-9 overall, 10-4 SCIAC) rallied for a somewhat respectable 25-13 final score. Senior OH Kylie McLogan served up 11 consecutive points for the Regals, including three of her four service aces in the match.
Unfazed by the early result, Chapman came back to win the second set handily 25-17 led by junior MB Val Geiger who had seven kills in the set. Three consecutive points to close out the third set – including kills from junior MB Kat Marusich and sophomore OH Michele Hammer – gave the Panthers a 26-24 win and put them one set away from becoming the first Division III team to beat the Regals this year.
However, Cal Lu turned it around with a win in the fourth set, then hit .333 in the fifth set and scored eight consecutive points on its way to the win.
In a battle of maybe the two top players in the SCIAC, McLogan (21 kills, 18 digs) got the best of Geiger (20 kills, two blocks). Sophomore OH Allie Eason added 18 kills and 14 digs for Cal Lutheran.
For Chapman, Hammer finished with 12 kills and 18 digs. Junior DS Andi Frisina led all defenders with 22 digs and earned a season-high six service aces; one shy of the Chapman record.
The loss snapped the Panthers' six-game home winning streak and dropped Chapman to 19-2 in its last 21 matches on the Hutton floor. Both losses during that run have come against Cal Lutheran.
The Panthers will travel to Pomona-Pitzer on Friday night in a crucial match against the team they are tied for second place with in the conference standings. Chapman will return home on Saturday to host Occidental College for 'Senior Night' and the Panthers' regular season finale.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director