Riding a two-match winning streak, the University of Redlands women's volleyball team kept things rolling with a 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-27, 15-10) victory over Whittier College Tuesday night in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play.
The Bulldogs (6-13, 3-6 SCIAC) saw four players with double-digit kills, led by sophomore outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) with 19 on the night. Senior right-side hitter Maloree Kupp (Sunnyside, WA) contributed 14 kills, while junior middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) added 11 kills and sophomore outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA) laid down another 10.
Defensively, four Bulldogs finished with double-digit digs: junior libero Ally Busch (Long Beach, CA) had 36, senior setter Emily Marty (San Diego, CA) and Starlin each finished with 21, while Davidson posted 19 digs. Davidson, Starlin and Marty all grabbed double-doubles, with Marty finishing with 33 assists.
Things went back and forth in the opening set, before Redlands went on a 6-0 run to take a five-point upper hand. Davidson laid down a sideout kill to send Marty to the service line and get the scoring going. Kills from Kupp and Davidson, along with an ace from Marty, forced a Whitter timeout, but the Bulldogs scored two more points to extend their lead to 14-9.
The Poets battled back and managed to even the set at 15-15, but Redlands went off on another run to all but seal the victory. Senior middle blocker Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) got things going with a kill from a Marty assist, sparking a six-point scoring spree for the Bulldogs.
Whittier tried to put another comeback run together, scoring two points despite the Bulldogs at set point, but Starlin put things away with a kill to give Redlands the 25-19 win.
The second set proved to be another battle, but Whittier pulled out the 25-22 set victory to even the match at one apiece.
After finding itself trailing by three, 8-11, Redlands battled back in the third set to jump in front 18-16 and force a Whittier timeout. Lanyon provided a solo block to tie the set at 15-15 and stunned the Poets with an ace right before the break.
The Poets took back the lead briefly, but back-to-back kills from Lanyon and Starlin, along with a combo block from the duo, gave the Bulldogs set point. Starlin then found a hole in the back left corner to give Redlands the 25-22 win and the 2-1 advantage in the match.
Whittier fought back once again and took the Bulldogs to extra points in the fourth, before forcing a fifth set with a 27-25 set four win.
Despite Whittier scoring the first couple of points in the fifth, Redlands bounced back with a 9-2 run to put momentum in its corner. The Poets tried to rally, but the Bulldogs claimed the 15-10 victory on a Kupp kill to take the match 3-2 and extend their winning streak to three-straight matches.
Redlands heads out on the road to take on Chapman on Friday at 7 p.m. and returns home to Currier Gym on Saturday for a pair of matches: Caltech at 2 p.m. and non-conference opponent UC Santa Cruz at 4 p.m.