ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's volleyball team fell in five sets to Vanguard University Friday night at Hutton Sports Center. The Panthers put in a strong fight, coming back from down two sets to none to force a decisive fifth set. Junior Lauren Friend led both offense and defense for Chapman, tallying 15 kills on .250 hitting and eight blocks, including three solo blocks.
The Lions took an early lead in the first set, scoring five in a row to put the Panthers on their heels. Chapman couldn't quite find its footing after that, trailing the rest of the set. Vanguard ended the set with an eight and one run, sealing the 25-16 victory in set one.
The Panthers came out strong in the second set, scoring four in a row early on. Friend and freshman Mavis Lui made a big block, followed by two kills from Friend and a service ace from junior Kaitlyn Raymundo. Chapman led until a big block from seniors Juanae Johnson and Jene Lee tied the set at 11. The Panthers regained the lead just a few moments later, going up 14-13 off two kills from junior Lindsey Johnson and Friend. Vanguard then scored six unanswered points to take a six point lead, finishing out the set 25-19.
Chapman seemed to find their footing in the third set, leading throughout the majority. The Lions regained the lead on a kill from freshman Kayla Fisher to make the score 17-16. The Panthers regained the lead soon thereafter on an attack error on junior Shaylen Larson-Piper. A service ace from sophomore Sam Rice put Vanguard right back in the lead at 19-18. Chapman soon found themselves trailing by four, but Friend kicked it into high gear, tallying two kills to help the Panthers win the set 26-24.
Set four saw four lead changes early on, but five points in a row for the Panthers put them in the lead for the duration of the set, peaking at a lead margin of seven points. Friend finished off the fourth set with a huge kill to force the fifth and final set.
The Lions went up 4-2 early in the fifth set, and the Panthers could never quite catch up. Senior Taylor Jackson recorded a huge kill to make the score 13-8, but Chapman weren't finished. They rallied, scoring four unanswered points on a combination of a service ace from junior Sara Utsugi, a kill by Johnson and another kill by junior Kiley McGill. Vanguard found its final point on a service ace from sophomore Kamela Noel, finishing the set and match.
Utsugi was all over the floor for the Panthers, recording 30 digs. Freshman Mavis Lui came up big on the net along with Friend, recording one solo block and three block assists.
Chapman travels to Whittier this week but returns home on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. to take on Cal Lutheran.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant