CLAREMONT, Calif. – At the Pacific Coast Classic American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) No. 10 Cal Lutheran opened the 2013 campaign with a 3-1 victory over Whitworth (Wash.) before defeating Benedictine (Ill.) 3-0 in the nightcap to complete an opening day sweep.
The Regals got out to a slow start, dropping the first set of the season, but bounced back to win the next six en route to a pair of wins. Cal Lutheran downed Whitworth 19-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-11 and in the afternoon CLU defeated Benedictine 25-22, 25-17, 25-13.
Returning to the court for the first time in a year, Jackie Russell was in fine form once again as the Regals setter. Despite some nerves, Russell’s performance was that of a seasoned veteran. She recorded 33 assists in a 3-1 win over Whitworth before adding 26 in a three-game victory over Benedictine.
“It was exciting to play a real game and be part of the action on the court with my team again,” Russell shared at the conclusion of the day. “My favorite feeling is setting a ball and having my teammates kill it.”
Kill it they did today with Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira leading the pack in the first match of the day with 12 total kills. Kylie McLogan added 11 and Allie Eason recorded 10. Additionally, McLogan recorded three service aces against the Pirates.
Defensively, four Regals finished in digs double figures with Eason tallying 15, McLogan recording a dozen, Kennedy Peters finishing with 11 and Mo’okini-Oliveira chipping in with 10. At the net three players had a solo block with Eason, McLogan and Russell each responsible for one. Lauren Rohach, who also added six kills, was part of six block assists. Eason added four block assists while both Russell and Hayley Tamagni had a pair.
Monica Lundgren made her collegiate debut this morning against Whitworth, recording a block assist.
In the second match of the day McLogan led the attack with 11 kills as the only CLU player to reach double figures. Eason was next in line with eight and Mo’okini-Oliveira and Rohach shared a tie with six kills apiece. Jena Chavez contributed with nine assists after adding seven in the morning match against WU.
Peters put down three aces for the Violet and Gold and had a team-leading 13 digs. Tamagni was responsible for the only CLU solo block of the match while also recording two service aces during her final opening day.
With a tough schedule on tap in the coming weeks it was key for the Regals to get out to a hot start.
“It was important for us to start off the season with some momentum,” Russell went on, “To be able to win today will only help us to continue to get better.”
Cal Lutheran (2-0) will return to the friendly confines of the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center when they host the 15-team Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Sept. 6-7. The Regals open the weekend with matches against UT-Dallas at 3:00 p.m. and No. 9 Puget Sound at 7:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 3, WU 1 – box score not available at time of release
Box Score: CLU 3, BU 0 – box score not available at time of release
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