WHITTIER, Calif. — Ashlyn Cross and Brittany Yaxley both notched double-doubles and the No. 21 University of La Verne volleyball team escaped Whittier with a 25-18, 21-25, 24-26, 25-20, 15-7 win on Tuesday night at Graham Athletic Center.
With the win, La Vern extends its SCIAC winning streak to nine games and improve to 9-1 in SCIAC play (15-3 overall). Whittier slips to 14-7 overall and 5-4 in the SCIAC.
Yaxley registered a match-high 15 kills while recording 15 digs. Cross pitched in 11 kills and had 16 digs.
Down two sets to one, La Verne's offense came alive in the fourth set as it put away 19 kills on .333 hitting. After the teams traded points to start the set, the Leopards rattled off seven unanswered points to grab a 12-5 lead and never looked back. Whittier made a late run when they grabbed five straight points to get within 21-18. But Cassie Thompson and Yaxley got two consecutive kills to create some cushion and Kelsi Robinson sealed the set with a kill. Yaxley had five kills and a block in the set.
The deciding fifth set was all La Verne. Whittier staked out to a 3-1 lead but La Verne ripped off an 8-0 run as Robinson served the Poets into four errors to grab control of the set. Whittier responded with a 3-0 run, but Cross proceed to knocked down three kills and the Leopards took six of the match's final seven kills to seal the win.
The Leopards cruised to a first set win before the Poets claimed two straights sets to push the Leopards. Whittier won its two sets in a similar fashion as it made late runs to take the sets. La Verne grabbed a 16-15 edge in the second, but the Poets closed the set on a 4-1 run. Whittier then used two separate 4-0 runs seal the third set.
Robinson and Destinee Sales also reached double digits in kills with 11 and 10, respectively.
Freshman Lauren Bonaldo had the best game of young career, passing out 22 assists and notching 13 digs.
La Verne returns to action on Friday for the biggest home match of the season as they host No. 6 Cal Lutheran at 7:30 p.m. The Leopards were two points away from a sweep of the Regals on the road on Sept. 15.