ORANGE, Calif. – A sweep of visiting UC Santa Cruz put the Chapman University volleyball right back in the win column for its eighth win in the last nine matches. The Panthers (11-4) held the Banana Slug (3-10) to a sub-.100 hitting percentage to win 25-19, 25-21, 25-20.
Chapman outhit the Slugs .252-.041 in the match to key the sweep. Three Panthers recorded double digit digs, led by senior Cheri Raymundo with 15 digs. Juniors Lindsey Johnson and Courtney Justus each kept up 11 digs while fellow junior Kaitlyn Raymundo had nine.
Johnson was just shy of a double-double with nine kills to go along with her 11 digs. She hit .429 without making an error in the match. Justus slammed down five of her eight kills and had five digs in the opening set to lead the Panthers to the opening set win. Senior Abby Smith hit .308 with six kills and three total blocks.
The Panthers cruised through the first set, only trailing for a single point. In sets two and three, Chapman fell behind and had to fight out of a 3-0 hole to start the set. In the second, a service error gave the Panthers their first point and sparked a 5-0 run. Chapman never trailed and scored the last three points of the set to secure the win.
In the third, Chapman hit .414 but trailed by as much as four points at 15-11 and as late as 20-19. Justus tied up the set at 20-20 and one of 10 attacking errors in the set gave the Panthers the lead. Another error was followed by a Smith kill and later a Smith block to set up match point. The Slugs final attempt landed wide to give Chapman the sweep.
UCSC was led by seven kills from Claire Okerlund and 12 digs from Tatum Novitzky. The Slugs served up nine aces to keep all three sets close.
The Panthers are back at home and in their SCIAC schedule tomorrow as they host Pomona-Pitzer at 6 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director