REDLANDS, Calif. (Oct. 3, 2017) – The Caltech volleyball team caught a second wind and won the third set of Tuesday's match at the University of Redlands, its first SCIAC set in five years. The Beavers' last SCIAC set coincidentally came on Sept. 25, 2012 at Redlands.
Trailing the host Bulldogs by two sets, the Beavers opened the third set on an 8-5 run, determined to make a statement on the road. One of sophomore Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon)'s three service aces came during this stretch. The Bulldogs rallied later in the set and went on a 5-1 run of their own to take a 17-16 lead on the Beavers. Caltech refused to wilt, however, and quickly took the lead back with another Lauinger ace followed by a key kill from sophomore Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire). With the lead back in hand, the Beavers closed out against their SCIAC foe for the first time this season. A third ace from Lauinger and another kill from Li, one of a team-high nine on the match, allowed Caltech to return to Pasadena with a significant milestone in hand.
Following Caltech's historic third set, the Beavers gave the Bulldogs a run for their money in fourth set and scored 20 points. The two teams will meet again when Caltech hosts Redlands in its SCIAC finale on Oct. 28.
The Beavers saw contributions all across the lineup from their top eight players. Like Li, Lauinger also managed 13 digs. Freshman libero Allessandra Mondello (Kinnelon, N.J. / Villa Walsh Acad.) led her side with 16 digs. Both of the team's setters, freshman Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) and sophomore Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) flourished in setting up their fellow teammates, combining for 32 assists. Maruszko, the owner of a rare triple-double already this season, also had seven kills and 15 digs, proving once again to be among the team's most versatile players. Freshman Isabell Yang (Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia) had five kills and combined with sophomore Helena Shield (Mercer Island, Wash. / Mercer Island) on an assisted block, and another freshman, Christine Yu (Fremont, Calif. / Mission San Jose), contributed Caltech's only solo block of the evening.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers will return to Braun Gymnasium on Sunday, Oct. 8 when they first host Mills College at 11 a.m., then Saint Katherine College at 3 p.m. in a tri-match.