Saturday night saw the Athenas Volleyball team move closer towards a high seed in the SCIAC post-season tournament as they defeated the University of La Verne 3-1, earning their seventh consecutive victory and 11 out of their last 12 matches. The victory was made all the more special given that the Athenas struggled in the teams' first meeting in Ducey Gymnasium, a match that La Verne would win 3-0. The Athenas currently stand tied for second place with a record of 8-3 in conference with Occidental College, who they also defeated 3-1 in their first meeting.
Using a 4-0 run to start game one behind opening serves by Taylor Jones, the Athenas never trailed and blazed forward en route to a 25-11 win. Game two however started with La Verne pulling ahead 8-2, stalling the Athenas offense and taking the game with a convincing 25-14 win
The most exciting and critical point of the match would occur early on in game three, where La Verne again pulled ahead 8-2. Sophomore Bennett Jones would then serve eight consecutive points to give the Athenas the lead 10-8. She would serve another three point run later in the game. Leads changed, runs were made, and both teams showed tremendous effort and determination. The teams found themselves tied at 24-24 before the Athenas settled down and secured a 27-25 win to take control of the match 2-1.
Game four provided much of the same excitement that had dominated the evening, with the Athenas again pounding out a victory behind solid team defense, good execution on offense, and yet another run behind Bennett Jones' serves to take the game 25-22 and the match 3-1.
The statistical leaders for the Athenas were Regina Mullen and Emily Hudson who contributed 16 and 15 kills, respectively. Mullen and Hudson would provide solid defensive efforts as well with 17 and 24 digs, respectively. Taylor Jones finished the night with 46 assists.
The Leopards offensive leaders were Randi Taylor-Toomay and Kendall Kraiss with 13 and 14 kills, respectively. For Leopards would contribute double digit dig totals, and Krystal Castellanos finished with 29 assists.
The Athenas return to action Tuesday October 25 at Whittier College. The team will travel to Caltech on October 28 before returning home to close the season against Occidental on Tuesday November 1.
Should the Athenas clinch a post-season berth, the tournament will be held on November 3 and 5.