The University of Redlands women's volleyball team opened the 2019 campaign at the Pacific Coast Classic on Friday in Claremont. Despite a gritty and intense effort, the Bulldogs came up short in a pair of tough losses. First, Redlands suffered a five-set heartbreaker to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville before falling in four sets to Benedictine University (IL).
Against UW-Platteville, the Maroon and Gray battled to secure the first two sets by scores of 25-23 and 27-25. Unfortunately, the momentum shifted, which allowed the Pioneers to even the match with wins in the subsequent two sets, 25-16 and 25-17. However, Redlands refused to go away in the fifth and overcame four match points to extend the set. However, the rally fell short in a 15-17 decision.
Overall, sophomore outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA) led the Bulldog attack with 14 kills, while junior middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) and sophomore outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) knocked down eight apiece. Senior setter Emily Marty (San Diego, CA) and sophomore setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA) shared the ball-distribution duties with 18 and 16 assists, respectively. Junior libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) patrolled the back row with 29 digs, as Davidson, Lanyon, and Luevano fired off three service aces each.
In the second match of the day, Redlands faced a two-set deficit before answering with an impressive effort in the third and fourth sets. During the third, the Bulldogs gained six consecutive points with junior defensive specialist Emily Vankoll (Moraga, CA) at the service line to earn a 20-9 advantage, which propelled them to a solid win. In addition, the Maroon and Gray rallied back from five points down to tie things up at 23-all in the fourth. However, Benedictine ultimately handed the Bulldogs a 15-25, 19-25, 25-12, 25-27 loss.
Davidson remained proficient on offense with nine kills, while Lanyon recorded seven at a clip of .294. Davidson also blasted eight aces in an impressive showing. Marty and Luevano combined for 22 assists, while Busch provided 28 digs.
Redlands (0-2) returns to the Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday, August 31, for two more matches. The Bulldogs take on Wentworth Institute of Technology (MA) at 9:30 a.m. and then face Carroll University (WI) at 1:45 p.m.