Volleyball Overpowers Occidental

Volleyball Overpowers Occidental

LOS ANGELES — The University of La Verne volleyball team hit .400 and put down 16 service aces as it cruised past Occidental 25-13, 25-12, 25-14 on Friday night at Rush Gymnasium.

How it happened: La Verne dominated all aspects of the game. The Leopards moved the Tigers around with sharp serves, were methodical in attack and were able to bottle up Oxy's attack.

La Verne did not trail until the early in the third set when Tigers grabbed an 8-6 lead on a Brittany Yaxley service error. But the Leopards responded immediately as they ripped off a 10-1 run to effectively put the game away. Six different Leopards notched a kill during that stretch, leaving the Tigers guessing.

Depth was the theme for La Verne. The Leopards rotated 13 players and got meaningful contributions from all of them. Yaxley led the way with 16 kills, nine aces and seven digs. Ashlyn Cross registered eight kills to go along with two and six other Leopards recorded at least two kills apiece.

La Verne was once again strong at the net, recording four total as a team. Destinee Sales led all players with four block assists. Kelsi Robinson and Hope Allen each had two.

Stat of the game: La Verne recorded a staggering 16 service aces. The Leopards service kept the Tigers guessing all night and forced bad passes even when Oxy was able to receive.

The Leopards compiled 42 kills to just eight errors on 85 attempts and limited the Tigers to 19 kills in 72 attempts.

What it means: After a five-day lay-off since it beat Pomona-Pitzer and then-No. 6 Colorado College, La Verne (7-1, 2-0 SCIAC) continued its hot start and looks like a legitimate contender in the SCIAC.

Oxy falls to 1-8 overall and 0-1 in SCIAC.

From head coach Jenna Panatier:

On the team's efficiency: "We worked on the things we needed to focus on and executed the plays we practiced all week."

On the team's depth: "We've been really lucky in our recruiting. The student-athletes who come here understand that they're going to have to roll up their sleeves and get dirty, and that's really what has helped our overall mentality for the team to stay positive and stay focused."

On facing No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday: "Our mindset is the exact same as when we came in here. Take care of our jobs, keep our focus and maintain our high level of play."

Up next: The Leopards have a quick turnaround as they host No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at 6 p.m. 

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