LANCASTER, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2017) – Caltech Volleyball came a few points away from taking both games of Saturday's doubleheader collision with the University of Antelope Valley. Here is an in-depth look at how the Beavers in fared in both games:
Match 1: Antelope Valley 3, Caltech 2 (15-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 15-10)
The Beavers made their presence felt early against the Pioneers, who entered the game with a seasoned 8-4 record. 2016's top attackers Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) and Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) found their spots in the first set and constantly pressured the Pioneers to match their output. Li led Caltech with 18 kills to go with 13 digs in the first game. Antelope Valley battled back in the second set but the Beavers took the advantage back in the third set, which saw Head Coach Tom Gardner's group open on a 12-4 run before closing the Pioneers out decisively. Antelope Valley took control back in the fourth set, however and in the process momentum heading into the fifth and final set where they were ultimately able to close out the resiliant Beavers. Freshman libero Allessandra Mondello (Kinnelon, N.J. / Villa Walsh Acad.) led the Beavers with 23 digs while fellow freshman Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) led her side with 18 assists.
Match 2: Antelope Valley 3, Caltech 0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23)
Although Caltech fell short of recreating another five set duel in the second game, they made sure to make the deeper and more experienced Pioneers earn their keep in each set. The Beavers quelled a slow start in the opening set by rallying behind 36 attacking opportunities. Maruszuko keyed the majority of those opportunities, setting up fellow freshman Christine Yu (Fremont, Calif. / Mission San Jose) and Helena Shield (Mercer Island, Wash. / Mercer Island) with pivotal kills to keep things competitive. Maruszuko led Caltech with 14 assists in Game 2 while notching two kills for herself. The Beavers dug themselves out of a similar hole in the third set that saw Lauinger raise her game to rain six kills on the opposition in addition to one service ace. Lauinger led the Beavers with 14 kills to go with seven digs over the three set span. With Saturday's two-game effort, Caltech has created a foundation to build upon heading into its next volleyball match.
Gardner and the Beavers will look to rebound when they travel to Saint Katherine College on Tuesday for a 3:00 p.m. match.