ORANGE, Calif. —The University of La Verne volleyball team went the distance to defeat Chapman, 25-13, 25-17, 24-26, 21-25, 15-13 on Tuesday night at Hutton Sports Center.
What it means: With the win, La Verne (18-3, 10-2 SCIAC) clinches a spot in the four-team SCIAC Postseason Tournament. The Leopards remain in a second-place tie with No. 20 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10-2 SCIAC) as the Athenas handed No. 2 Cal Lutheran (10-1 SCIAC) its first conference loss of the season.
How it happened: La Verne found itself in a dire hole in the deciding set when Chapman took an 8-5 lead after a kill and a La Verne error.
But the Leopards claimed the next three points on a kill by Kelsi Robinson and two errors by the Panthers to tie the score at 8-8. Ashlyn Cross and Brittany Yaxley then combined for five kills the rest of the way with Cross knocking down the match point to finish off the match.
After two sets, it looked as if the Leopards would cruise to its seventh SCIAC sweep of the season. La Verne limited Chapman to just 13 points on -.148 hitting in the first set and never trailed at any point in the second to take an easy 2-0 lead.
But Chapman's offense woke up in the third set. Led by six kills from Val Geiger, the Panthers registered 16 kills in 36 attempts in the third set and used a big 5-0 run in the middle of the set to launch a comeback bid. The Leopards put together a pair of 3-0 runs after falling down 21-15 to tie the set at 24-24, but Geiger finished the set off with consecutive kills.
La Verne jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the fourth set, but could not string together any points and lost, 25-21.
Players of the game: Cross and Yaxley came up big on both sides of the court as each tallied double-digit kills and digs. Yaxley had match-high 22 kills to go along with 11 digs. Cross 14 kills and a match-high 18 digs.
Robinson, who went into the match ranked eighth nationally in blocks per set at 1.28, was once again strong at the net and recorded five total blocks (2 solo, 6 assists). She also had 10 kills.
Up next: La Verne returns to action on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Caltech in a Breast Cancer Awareness Game.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