THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – No. 3 Cal Lutheran improved to 21-1 for just the fourth time in school history and first since 1998. The Regals got there by sneaking by Pomona-Pitzer 3-1 (21-25, 29-27, 25-14, 25-23) Saturday night. Earlier in the day, Cal Lutheran also swept past the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (N.J.) 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-23). In the nine sets between Cal Lutheran and Pomona-Pitzer this season, seven have been decided by four points or less.
Cal Lutheran began its day collecting its 20th win of the season when it swept Rose-Hulman. The Regals had eight players with at least five or more kills and hit .366 as a team. Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira and Caitlin Fransen led CLU with eight kills apiece while Eason had seven, Kylie McLogan with six and Hannah Orlandi, Lauren Rohach and Hayley Tamagni all tallied five.
Jackie Russell handed out 24 assists while digging out eight balls defensively. Fellow setter Jena Chavez had a season-high 17 assists while playing all three sets.
Chavez, Allie Eason and Nicki Tetherow all had seven digs and held RHU to a team attacking percentage of .192.
The Regals would face a much stiffer test in the night-cap against the host Sagehens. After defeating Pomona-Pitzer 3-2 earlier this season, the Sagehens jumped all over CLU in the opening set, winning 25-21. Pomona-Pitzer was led by the nation’s leader in kills per set Allie Frappier, who collected 10 kills in game one.
Cal Lutheran responded in the second set, building a seven-point lead before McLogan pounded in a kill to go up 20-13. Pomona-Pitzer would rally to tie the game late before McLogan again got CLU to set-point at 28-27 and then the Sagehens committed an error and gave Cal Lutheran game two.
McLogan got CLU out to a 13-7 lead in the third set after recording two aces. Mo’okni-Oliveira and Tamagni came up with two big blocks later to push the lead to 18-11 before the Regals closed out game three at 25-14.
Game four saw the teams tied at 10-10 before Cal Lutheran surged ahead after kills from Eason and McLogan, pushing the score to 16-10.
Riding Frappier, the Saghens had one final push, retaking the lead at 22-21 but two errors down the stretch led to CLU taking the decisive fourth set 25-23.
McLogan led the Regals with a season-high 25 kills to go along with seven digs. Eason had a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Russell had 39 assists and 11 digs. Mo’okini-Oliveira and Tamagni tied with five block assists each.
Frappier led Pomona-Pitzer with 32 kills.
Cal Lutheran (21-1, 10-0 SCIAC) will be back in action next Wednesday, Oct. 22, when it hosts Occidental. The match is set to get underway at 7:30pm inside of Gilbert Arena.