LA VERNE, Calif. — Just hours after sweeping 2013 SCIAC Postseason Semifinalist Pomona-Pitzer, the University of La Verne volleyball team used precise serving and balanced attack to topple No. 6 Colorado College 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15 on Saturday night at Frantz Court.
How it happened: La Verne's service had the Tigers scrambling all night long. The Leopards registered a total of 13 service aces with Brittany Yaxley leading the way with four. Kelsi Robinson and Tiffany Mancuso recorded three each, and Kailey Faust had two. With La Verne's serves moving them around, the Tigers couldn't get clean looks and hit just .148, well below their season average.
With the defense keying on Yaxley, the Leopards spread the ball around and got excellent results. Ashlyn Cross and Robinson recorded 10 and 11 hits, respectively, and Cassie Thompson pitched in nine. Nysa Allen and Destinee Sales each had five.
La Verne's blocking – which has revealed itself to be the team's strong suit this season – was just as effective against one of the best teams in the nation. Thompson led the team with six block assists followed by Robinson, Sales and Nysa Allen who had three each. The Leopards combined for nine total blocks and limited Colorado College's best player, Abbe Holtze to just .046 hitting in 65 attempts.
It was over when: La Verne ripped off five straight kills in the fourth set to take a 11-7 lead. After a Kristen Liberty kill put the Tigers up 7-6 in the set, Cross put down two consecutive kills, Robinson registered two and Sales spiked one down to completely overturn the momentum in La Verne's favor.
Colorado College never recovered. The Tigers would get with in 13-10 on a service error by Robinson, but that's as close as they would get. Every time the Tigers notched a point, the Leopards showed killer instinct by responding with aces and kills of their own.
The Leopards had only two attack errors in the final set.
Player of the game: The Leopards needed a complete team effort to beat a top-10 team and they got exactly that. Three players had at least 10 kills; Monica Lopez and Anna Suarez combined to dig 31 attempts; the setter duo of Mancuso and Kailey Faust dished out 48 assists; and the team tallied a total of 18 block assists.
What it means: By completely dominating two teams that appeared in the NCAA Championship Tournament last season, the La Verne (6-1) put the SCIAC and national observers on notice.
Up next: The Leopards will look to continue the momentum when they travel to Los Angeles to take on Occidental on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.Follow La Verne Athletics on Twitter @ULV_Athletics Like La Verne Athletics on Facebook Follow La Verne Athletics on Instagram @ULV_Athletics Sign up for our newsletter