PASADENA (Oct. 8, 2017) – Caltech volleyball blanked visiting Mills College on Sunday for the team's second win of the season. The Beavers had an eventful Sunday, hosting both Mills and the University of St. Katherine's in a tri match but faced off against the Cyclones in the first match of the day.
Game 1: Caltech 3, Mills 0
The Beavers came out firing in the first game immediately controlling the point of attack. Caltech set the tone instantly with an ace from sophomore Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) that led to the Beavers winning the match's first six points. As with the set's first six points, the Beavers also won the first set's last six points, punctuated by a kill from freshman Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) from Walker. The Beavers faced a stiffer test from the Cyclones in the second set but really hit their stride in the third set, only dropping five points to the visitors. The exclamation point came on a kill from junior Sakthi Vetrivel (Redmond, Wash. / Overlake School). The set came from sophomore Mei-Ling Laures (Chicago, Ill. / British International School of Chicago) who led the Beavers with 16 assists. Maruszko led the way with nine kills to go witih five assists and freshman libero Allessandra Mondello (Kinnelon, N.J. / Villa Walsh Acad.) came away with 13 digs to lead the team. The Beavers combined for 11 service aces and four players finished the match with two.
Game 2: St. Katherine 3, Caltech 0
A rematch from Caltech's fourth game of the season went a little differently with the Beavers at full strength in October. A thrilling first set saw the Beavers exchange blows with the Firebirds all the way to the end where 25 points was not enough to decide a victor. Caltech opened the set on a 3-0 run featuring a service ace from sophomore Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire). The Firebirds would recover, however and the bulk of the set saw the two teams constantly within one point of each other. The Beavers did see three set points chances turned back by the visitors but also denied the Firebirds on one of their set point opportunities when Walker found Maruszko for a pivotal kill to knot the set at 26-26. Two more St. Katherine kills, one off of a substitution ultimately closed the set but not without a big effort from the Beavers.
Caltech hung with the visitors again in the second and third sets, particularly in the middle frame where the Beavers hit the 20-point mark again. Li and Vetrivel paced the Beavers in the kills department with six each while Maruszko and Walker each had 12 assists to lead the team. The Beavers also had a strong net game with freshman Christine Yu (Fremont, Calif. / Mission San Jose) assisting on all three of her team's blocks, twice with Maruszko and once with Li. Mondello and Li each had eight digs to lead the team on the defensive front, further illustrating the collaborative effort the Beavers saw in the second bout of Sunday's tri match.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers will have some time to rest before traveling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Friday, Oct. 13 for a 7 p.m. match.