TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound volleyball team played their second-best hitting match of the season, converting 31.7 percent of its attacks en route to a 3-0 sweep of Lewis & Clark and itsninth straight victory.
Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark split the first 12 points of the match. With the first game tied at six, the Loggers turned it up a notch, winning nine of the next 10 points to take a 15-7 game lead. The Pioneers fought back, surviving immense pressure from the Puget Sound offense to pull within three points at 16-13. At that point, the Loggers just proved too much for Lewis & Clark. A four-point run by the Loggers effectively clinched the game, as the teams then swapped points until the Loggers took the game 25-17.
In the first set, the Loggers hit .171, tallying 13 kills. Jackie Harvey and Jordan Bird each had three kills in the game while both Christina Chun and Karly Edwards served up an ace each. The Pioneers added to Puget Sound's cause with 11 first-game errors.
The second game was tightly contested as neither team could take a commanding lead in the early portion of the period. Each time Puget Sound found themselves three points up twice, and twice the Pioneers fought back, eventually taking a 12-11 lead halfway through the game. Puget Sound responded well to the deficit, battling to win the next seven points to go ahead 16-12. The Pioneers were able to pull within one point once more at 17-16, but was it for the Pioneers. Puget Sound won eight of the final 10 points and took the second game 25-18. Puget Sound hit much better in the game, hitting for 31.7% with 16 kills and just three errors. Marissa Florant tallied six kills in the game on 10 attacks, good for a .600 game hitting percentage.
With the third game tied at 4-all, the Loggers took won four straight points, forcing the Pioneers to take an early timeout. The timeout worked as Lewis & Clark took the next point, but Puget Sound rattled off five of the next six to take a 13-6 lead. The squads traded points until the score was 17-11, the Lewis & Clark rattled off three in a row to get within three points at 17-14. From that point, the Loggers won eight of the final 12 points to take the game 25-18 and the match 3-0.The Logger offense hit even better in the third game, converting 19 of 38 attacks for .474 hitting percentage while making just one attack error.
Over the entire match, the Loggers outhit the Pioneers 31.7% to 12.8%, making 10 attack errors opposed to 19 from Lewis & Clark. Harvey led all players with 13 kills, seven of them coming in the third game alone, while Lewis & Clark's Kataleya Milan dug up 18 balls and Alexe Navarro 17. Harvey tallied yet another double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs, while Florant killed 11 attacks and dug up 11 balls for one as well. Nicolette Reynaud brought in nine kills on the night, and Bird offered up seven.
"The thing that was really challenging was that there were a lot of balls coming at us from a lot of different angles and following the spaces, making it harder to play pattern defense," said Mark Massey, Puget Sound head coach. "We wanted to win that mid-court battle and once we got the past the middle of the first game we did a really good job on that. We took a lot of those balls and converted them into scoring. Those transition conversions are where you get the big hitting percentages from."
With the win, Puget Sound has won nine straight matches dating back to a Sept. 27 win at Lewis & Clark. Puget Sound also had a nine-match win streak last season, going from Oct. 19 to Nov. 11 without suffering a defeat, a streak that took them to the NCAA Quarterfinals. They last had nine consecutive regular season wins in 2011 when they opened up the campaign with 11 straight victories.
The Loggers wrap up their final home stand of the season next weekend when they host Whitworth on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Fieldhouse. The Loggers will then honor their seniors with a contest when they host Whitman a day later. The Senior Day match against the Missionaries will tip off at 6:00 p.m.