Photo by Michael Wong
ORANGE, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2016) – Freshman Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) keyed a late Caltech volleyball rally that fell just short at Chapman University on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers took the first two sets with ease, 25-8 and 24-13, although the Beavers showed some signs of life with a 7-6 advantage as the second set ended. Caltech rode the momentum to a 5-2 lead to start the third set thanks to four kills, including three straight to break a 2-2 tie. A Panthers kill and pair of attack errors tied the set again at 5-5, after which Chapman rattled off six unanswered points to surge ahead 11-6 and extended the margin to eight at 18-10.
Lauinger notched a kill to take over the serve and kept it for three more points to halve the deficit. The Panthers scored three straight on two kills and an ace, but then committed four attack errors to allow the Beavers to pull back within three at 21-18. A Panther kill and Beaver error brought the hosts within two points of clinching the match, but Caltech made one final stand, scoring three straight points on a kill by freshman Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire), ace by freshman Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) and a Chapman attack error to make it 23-21. A Panthers kill and ace finally sealed the victory for Chapman.
Lauinger led the Beavers with five kills and 12 digs, while Li added four kills and nine digs. Senior Suzannah Osekowsky (Saratoga, Calif. / Saratoga), sophomore Claudia Canamas (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Oxbridge Acad.) and Walker smacked two kills apiece, with Li and Osekowsky combing on a block.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers head to No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (19-2, 11-2) on Tuesday, Oct. 25.