Photo by Bob Paz
LANCASTER, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2016) – A relentless Caltech volleyball squad claimed its first victory of the season and the program's first away win in over a decade, splitting a doubleheader at the University of Antelope Valley on Saturday.
With the landmark victory, which also marked the Beavers' earliest in a season since 2010, Caltech improves to 1-2 while Antelope Valley ends the day at 3-4.
Caltech 0, Antelope Valley 3
The hosts took control early in the first match, jumping out to a 12-7 lead before the Beavers could string consecutive points together for the first time and taking the first set, 25-17. The second set started similarly, although the Beavers were able to stage a late rally that fell short at 25-20. UAV finished things off with a dominant 25-13 third set.
Freshman Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) racked up 13 kills while committing a mere two errors for an impressive .289 hitting percentage and completed the double-double with a team-high 14 digs.
Caltech 3, Antelope Valley 2
After being swept in the first match, Caltech fell behind by a set in the second before bouncing back with back-to-back set wins to flip the score line.
The Beavers took an early lead thanks to a pair of attacking errors by UAV and regained the edge following a 6-1 run, rattling off five unanswered points to go up 10-8. UAV threatened to take back control with seven straight points to surge ahead by five at 22-17, but Caltech refused to succumb, scoring 10 of the final 13 points to win the extended set, 27-25.
The hosts held the early edge in the third set, leading 16-12 midway through before Caltech caught fire once again. Behind the serves of freshman Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) and sophomore Sakthi Vetrivel (Redmond, Wash. / Overlake School), the Beavers went on an 8-1 run to lead by three and never relinquished it, with Li notching a kill on the third set point chance.
UAV recovered to claim another decisive set in the fourth, 25-8, to force a high-pressure fifth set. The Pioneers started with a 3-0 lead and held the slight edge right up to match point at 14-11, when the Beavers dug their heels in and clawed back to eventually claim the win. A UAV attack error gave freshman Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) the serve still down two, after which a pair of kills by Lauinger and another error put Caltech on top, 15-14. Walker then iced the match with an ace for the final point.
Li recorded her first double-double with 10 kills and a match-high-tying 24 digs, while Lauinger also notched a double-double with 17 kills and 12 sigs. Walker tallied 31 assists and nine digs, while Vetrivel added seven kills, 13 digs and two block assists.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers host Providence Christian College (4-3) in the home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.