Poets battle with No. 1 Cal Lutheran

Poets battle with No. 1 Cal Lutheran

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Whittier College Volleyball team faced a tough test Tuesday evening as they took on the No. 1 team in the country in Cal Lutheran University to open Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.

Whittier fell in three 25-17, 25-16, 25-23 and have now lost five straight and seven of their last eight as they fall to 2-8, 1-0 SCIAC.

With the help of Jasmine Tong (Fullerton, Calif.) the Poets were able to hold an early lead 4-3 following two service aces.  But that's the lone lead they would have as CLU would storm back to go in front 20-12 before taking the first set.

The second set was a back and forth effort until Nicki Tetherow was able to spark five unanswered for the Regals moving the score to 14-8.  The Poets were able to close the gap getting within four thanks to kills from Rebecca Slattery (Los Altos, Calif.), Alaina Rhee, Olive Anagu (Culver City, Calif.), and Tong but another long serving run by Tetherow would hand CLU set number two. 

The Poets were unable to get any closer than five in the third set until the 18-13 mark.  That's when they provided a run of their own with three straight kills from Hannah Joyce (Newport Beach, Calif.), Jazmyn Sudbrook-Johnson (Fremont, Calif.), and Aubrey Caires (Garnderville, NV).  This pulled WC within two before they put together one final push with back-to-back-to-back kills from Slattery that got the Poets within one.  But again that's as close as they would get as the Regals would rally to win the next two that gave them the sweep. 

Slattery finished with 14 kills to lead the Poets.  She was joined by Anagu who had seven and Caires with four.  Tong totaled 16 assists, while Clarissa Standafer (Alta Loma, Calif.) registered a career high 20 digs.  Katie Engle (Whittier, Calif.) joined Standafer in the backrow totaling 11 digs.         

Whittier returns home to the Graham Athletic Center this Friday, September 16 as they host the University of La Verne beginning at 7:00pm.