Cooke leads women's volleyball to 3-1 opening weekend

Kylie Cooke (photo by Larry Newman)
Kylie Cooke (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's volleyball team went 3-1 at the Pacific Coast Classic to open the 2016 season. Junior Kylie Cooke led the Panthers offensively, averaging 3.57 kills per set over the four matches.

Game 1: Chapman 3, Cabrini 1

In the Panthers season opener, Chapman rolled past Cabrini in their first two sets holding their opponents to under 20 points. Despite dropping the third set, the Panthers rallied to a 25-17 victory in set four. Cooke opened up the tournament with 11 kills and four digs, while sophomore Sara Utsugi led the defensive effort with 18 digs. Sophomore Kaitlyn Raymundo opened the season with a double-double of 26 assists and 13 digs.

Game 2: Chapman 3, George Fox 0

Chapman slid past the George Fox in three straight sets in its second match of the tournament. Cooke led the offensive attack again with 14 kills on a .545 hitting percentage, contributing to the team hitting .274. Sophomore Lauren Friend came out strong in the middle leading the team with five blocks, including two solos and nine kills for 16 total points.

Game 3: Union (N.Y.) 3, Chapman 1

After dropping the first two sets in match three, the Panthers rallied in set three to earn a 25-22 win. However, Union bounced back and closed out set four with a 25-22 victory. Over the four sets, four Panthers tallied double digit kills, including sophomore Courtney Justus who recorded her first double-double of the year with 10 kills and 11 digs.

Game 4: Chapman 3, Neumann 0

The Panthers capped off the tournament with a 3-0 sweep over Neumann hitting an effective .286 in their final match of the weekend. Utsugi continued her strong passing efforts with 22 digs, while Cooke dominated at the net with 14 kills. Utsugi was a force in the back row all weekend, putting up 84 digs for a six digs per set average. Friend was a defensive force at the net with a team-high seven blocks in addition to her seven kills.

Chapman continues its travels with its next two matches on the road. Chapman will travel to University of Antelope Valley on Sept. 6 for a 6 p.m. match and then to Biola on Sept. 13 for a 7 p.m. match. The Panthers will open their season at home on Friday, Sept. 16 for a 7 p.m. match against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.