With two matches on the schedule for Saturday, the University of Redlands women's volleyball team knew it was going to have a busy day. The Bulldogs opened with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-15) over CalTech in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action, but dropped a tight 1-3 (25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 23-25) battle to UC Santa Cruz in non-conference play to end the day.
Redlands' (7-14, 4-7 SCIAC) three-set sweep in the opener ended the Beavers' (10-11, 4-7) five-match winning streak. Sophomore outside hitter Paige Davidson (Spanaway, WA) led the Bulldogs with 12 kills, while junior middle blocker Hannah Lanyon (San Diego, CA) added another 10 kills. The pair also added some stellar defense, each posting seven digs in the game. Senior setter Emily Marty (San Diego, CA) led Redlands with 11 digs and finished with 12 assists for a double-double. Sophomore setter Tati Luevano (San Pablo, CA) matched Marty's 12 assists as the Bulldogs almost doubled the Beavers' kills (39-22).
Redlands got the ball rolling from the get-go, starting the first set on an 8-2 run. Lanyon smacked down a kill to give the Bulldogs a 7-1 lead and force a CalTech timeout, but a block from Lanyon and sophomore outside hitter Natalie Starlin (Las Vegas, NV) kept the streak going briefly.
The Beavers managed to put a late comeback run together, crawling back from a nine-point hole to pull within two, 22-24. Lanyon took matters into her own hands and fired down a kill from the middle to end the set 25-22 in favor of the Bulldogs.
UR kept things going in the second, jumping out to a quick 6-2 lead. It turned into a seven-point cushion off a Lanyon ace, forcing CalTech to call a timeout.
The Beavers scored the next point, but an error at the line put the Bulldogs off on a 7-1 run, fueled by kills from Davidson, senior middle blocker Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) and senior right-side hitter Maloree Kupp (Sunnyside, WA) to push UR in front 19-7.
Before CalTech could try to rally late again, Davidson put the set out of reach, 25-14, off a pass from Luevano to extend the Bulldogs' advantage to 2-0 in the match.
Things were close in the beginning of the third until Redlands scored five unanswered points to jump in front 18-10. It turned into a 22-15 lead before kills from Davidson and Kupp, along with a Beaver error, ended the match with the 25-15 set-three victory.
In the nightcap, Davidson led the Bulldogs on the attack once again after she posted 13 kills in the four-set match. Starlin was right behind her with 12 kills, while Lanyon contributed another 10. Davidson also had 15 digs in the match for a double-double, while also serving up five aces, and Marty finished with 32 assists.
Both teams were pretty evenly matched as neither side could make much of a separation in any of the sets. The first set alone saw 13 score ties, including ones at 19-19, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23 late in the set.
The Bulldogs found themselves trailing 19-16, but a Banana Slug service error sent Lanyon to the line where she led Redlands to even the score. Olsson grabbed a kill in that span, before another UCSC error forced the visitors to call a timeout.
Redlands took the lead and despite UCSC tying the set at 23-23, back-to-back kills from Starlin gave the Bulldogs the 25-23 set win.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into the second, opening on a 4-1 run that saw three-straight aces from Davidson.
UCSC battled back, however, and managed to take a four-point cushion, 17-13. It proved to be enough to hold off the Bulldogs as the Banana Slugs evened the match at a set apiece with a 25-20 second-set victory.
Both teams continued to vie for the upper hand in the swing set, but the Banana Slugs came out on top 25-22.
UC Santa Cruz opened the fourth with the first two points and didn't concede the lead, despite the Bulldogs putting a rally together to tie the score at 14-14. Down by four, Starlin had back-to-back kills, before two UCSC errors evened the score.
The Banana Slugs built back their lead and took the fourth 25-23 to win the match 3-1.
Redlands returns to SCIAC action on Tuesday, taking on Pomona-Pitzer on the road at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are back at Currier Gym on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.