Volleyball Sweeps Pomona-Pitzer to Open SCIAC

#6 Brittany Yaxley and #21 Cassie Thompson go up for a block against the Sagehens (photo by Kay Hurd)
#6 Brittany Yaxley and #21 Cassie Thompson go up for a block against the Sagehens (photo by Kay Hurd)

LA VERNE, Calif. — Kelsi Robinson and Brittany Yaxley combined for 33 kills, defense was excellent again and the University of La Verne volleyball team beat Pomona-Pitzer, 25-19, 25-21, 25-19, to open SCIAC play on Saturday afternoon at Frantz Court.

How it happened: La Verne's hitting was on point all afternoon. The Leopards tallied 51 kills in 134 attempts (.276 kill percentage). Robinson notched 16 kills in 26 attempts for a staggering .538 kill percentage and Yaxley had a game-high 17.

The Leopards were just as good on the defensive side. They did not give up a service ace and passed the ball around well, which led to good sets for the attackers. Setters Tiffany Mancuso and Kailey Faust spread the ball efficiently, combining for 44 assists.

La Verne was also dominant at the net yet again. The Leopards recorded a combined eight blocks (two solo, 12 assists) with Robinson leading the way with 3.5 (1 solo, 5 assists). Ashlyn Cross had one solo block and two assists. So far this season, the Leopards have been averaging 2.69 blocks per set, which would have put them second in the nation.

The Leopards also kept the reigning SCIAC Athlete of the Year Allie Frappier in check, holding her to 15 kills in 42 attempts while forcing her to make a match-high four reception errors.

It was over when: The Leopards reeled off four straight points at the end of the second frame to claim the set, 25-21. Yaxley put down the set winner, Destinee Sales contributed a point and the Leopards took advantage of a pair of errors by Pomona-Pitzer to take a commanding control of the game.

The Leopards had another 4-0 earlier in the set to take the lead and reclaim the momentum after a kill by Samantha Cahill gave the Sagehens a two-point lead. Faust dropped in a set attack, Robinson put down a kill and the Leopards took advantage of a pair of errors by the Sagehens to go up for good.

Player of the game: Robinson's attacking trailed off a bit after .533 attack performance in the season-opener against Wheaton (Ill.), but the athletic sophomore put together a complete performance against one of the best teams in the conference. Robinson's final line: 16 kills, one solo block, five block assists and five digs.

What it means: After a non-conference loss against NAIA scholarship Westmont, La Verne (5-1, 1-0 SCIAC) bounced back in the best way possible.

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