PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2019) – The Caltech volleyball team ended its historic 2019 season on Friday night against SCIAC contender Chapman University. The Beavers honored their four senior players prior to the game, all of whom played a unique role in getting the program to the level it is at today.
Caltech had its best moments of the match early as the visiting Panthers struggled to find their footing early. A service ace from freshman Dallas Taylor (Phoenix, Ariz. / Saguaro) tied the first set at five points apiece, and a kill from sophomore Sydney Richardson (Granite Bay, Calif. / Roseville) brought the Beavers within one at 10-9. Ultimately, the Panthers, who will have multiple contenders for SCIAC Player of the Year, proved too deep and too talented, especially as they began to click towards the end of the first set and into the second frame. Senior Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) led with seven kills, followed by Richardson and senior Helena Shield (Mercer Island, Wash. / Mercer Island) who each registered six kills in the season finale.
The 2019 season marked several firsts and milestones for the volleyball program. The Beavers had double-digit wins for the first time ever under Head Coach Tom Gardner with the wins perhaps being the highest quality the program as ever seen. Li concluded her final season with a season-best 235 kills and will go down as the greatest offensive player in program history to date (702 kills). Additionally, junior Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) made a successful return from injury after missing her sophomore season and went on to set the program's single-season assists record with 727. Sophomore Megan Wang (Henderson, Nev. / Advanced Technologies Academy), meanwhile, broke her own single-season digs record and has already taken over the career digs record at the halfway point in her career. The volleyball program also rewrote the team record books thanks to its most talented roster to date, and the Gardner-led Beavers should be eager to build on their milestone-laden season in 2020.