LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne forced a deciding fifth set after going down 2-1, but fell behind early in the fifth and lost to No. 18 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 19-25, 25-16, 25-12, 22-25, 15-4 on Saturday night at Frantz Court.
How it happened: La Verne started out on fire as it hit .593 as a team in the first set (17 K, 1 E, 27 TA). The Leopards served well, spread the ball around and looked to have seized early momentum.
However, the Athenas regrouped after the first set and put on a hitting clinic of their own in the second and third sets to take a 2-1 lead. In the second and third sets, CMS combined for 26 kills to just three errors in 54 attempts for a .426 kill percentage.
Although things didn't go their way in the middle portion of the game, the Leopards did not fold and fought back in the fourth to force the deciding set. After CMS took a 10-7 lead to start the fourth, La Verne went on a 7-3 run to claim the lead for the first time in the frame did not relinquish it the rest of the set.
La Verne then got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the final set, but CMS responded six consecutive points and never looked back.
Players of the game: Yaxley led all players with 19 kills and had 1.5 blocks.
Stat of the game: A day after recording 16 service aces in a dominant sweep of Oxy, La Verne's service game was off tonight. The Leopards had only two in the match and served up 15 errors.
From junior OH Brittany Yaxley: "We need to maintain consistency if we want a chance at [NCAA] regionals or the SCIAC Tournament. We have to have the energy that we had in the first set and the fourth games throughout the whole match. … Today, we got a glimpse of a roller coaster ride, but if we can maintain consistency, we will be good to go."
What it means: La Verne (7-2, 2-1 SCIAC) drops its first SCIAC match of the season against a very good CMS (11-3, 2-0 SCIAC) team whose only losses have come against nationally ranked teams. But the Leopards showed that they can still hang with the best even when things aren't going their way.
Up next: The Leopards will travel to Redlands on Tuesday for their first SCIAC road match of the season. First serve is scheduled 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