WHITTIER, Calif. — No. 24 University of La Verne volleyball team played better in each set as it swept Whittier, 25-19, 25-19, 25-11, at Graham Athletics Center on Tuesday night.
How it happened: The Leopards registered higher hit percentage in each of the three sets.
La Verne put down 15 kills in 34 attempts in the first set and never trailed at any point in the set. Nysa Allen led the Leopards' attack in the frame with four kills. The senior knocked down two consecutive kills after the Poets got within 5-4 to nip the Whittier comeback attempt right in the bud.
Whittier seized control early in the second set and looked to make it a match as it claimed six of the set's first seven points and eight of the first 10. However, as it had done all season when faced with a deficit, La Verne chipped away at it, stringing points together and limiting runs by the opponent. After a La Verne service error gave the Poets a 13-8 advantage, the Leopards ripped off a 9-1 run to claim the lead and never looked back. Brittany Yaxley led La Verne with six kills and an ace in the set.
Yaxley was even better in the third set with seven kills as the Leopards showed killer instinct. La Verne started the set 5-0 and put down 15 kills on .467 hitting to take a dominant 25-11 win.
Players of the game: After what was for her a quiet first set, Yaxley exploded for 13 kills in the last two sets to lead the Leopards. The junior also dug 10 attempts.
Ashlyn Cross was once again active on both ends of the court, tallying nine kills and a game-high 19 digs. It is her eighth double-digit digs in the last 10 matches.
Kelsi Robinson and Nysa Allen each had seven kills.
What it means: La Verne, who cracked into the national rankings in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III poll, improves to 20-3 overall and 12-2 in SCIAC play. The Leopards clinched a SCIAC Postseason Tournament berth a week ago and are playing for seeding the rest of the way.
Up next: La Verne hosts No. 3 Cal Lutheran on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. It is the the final home match of the season and La Verne's four seniors (Hope Allen, Nysa Allen, Kailey Faust and Anna Suarez) will be honored with a brief pre-match ceremony. Thursday's contest is also a Blackout event and all fans are encouraged to wear black.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