LANCASTER, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2019) – The Caltech women's volleyball team continued its recent run of consistently strong statistical performances but came up short in both matches at the University of Antelope Valley on Saturday. The short-handed Beavers had just beaten Marymount California University in a five-set classic the day before and showed some tenacity despite fatigue taking an invevitable toll.
Match 1: Antelope Valley 3, Caltech 1
Caltech rebounded from a slow start to the first match of Saturday's doubleheader with a decisive second set win before prior to pushing the Pioneers in each of the two sets to follow. The Beavers barely trailed in the second frame and stretched their lead to as many as eight points on junior outside hitter Isabel Yang (Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia)'s set-point kill from sophomore libero Megan Wang (Henderson, Nev. / Advanced Technologies Academy), her lone kill of the match. Caltech went on to hold slim leads in the third and fourth sets but the fresher Pioneers pulled away late in both instances.
Several Beavers maintained a high level of efficiency coming off Friday's emotional win. Junior setter Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) led with 35 assists while senior outside hitter Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) led the Caltech attack with 14 kills. Freshman middle blocker Charley Lafayette (Toronto, Ontario, Can. / Branksome Hall) hit .412 to go along with eight kills while sophomore outside hitter Alexandra Klipfel (Agua Dulce, Calif. / Saugus) put forth six kills while hitting .385.
Match 2: Antelope Valley 3, Caltech 1
The volleyball team matched its performance from earlier in the day by taking a set off the athletic Pioneers. This time, the Beavers' set of note came with their backs against the wall trailing 2-0. Caltech came out firing by winning six of the first seven points of the frame, five of which came on kills. Just like in the first match, the decisive Caltech point came on a kill from junior Yang, this time on a nice set from Maruszko.
Maruszko proved to be Caltech's most well-rounded player in the second match, contributing 19 assists and 10 kills while hitting a robust .571. Additionally, Li along with sophomore outside hitter Sydney Richardson (Granite Bay, Calif. / Roseville) lifted the Caltech attack with nine and eight kills respectively. Libero Wang, along with sophomore Hannah Fan (Saratoga, Calif. / Saratoga) were the top defensive contributors with 13 digs apiece. Lafayette, meanwhile had a more active match up towards the net, leading the visitors with one solo block and two assisted blocks, both of which came in conjunction with Richardson. Through eight matches, the freshman leads the team with 16 total blocks.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers will have some time to rest and regroup before making their SCIAC debut on Friday, Sept. 20 against visiting Whittier College at 7 p.m.