La Verne falls short against Juniata

first_imgPOMONA — In a strong midseason test, the University of La Verne women’s volleyball team fell short in a 3-1 loss to defending NCAA Division III champion Juniata College (Pa.) in a matchup of two teams ranked in the top five. Juniata beat La Verne in games, 32-30, 31-33, 30-24 and 31-29. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 La Verne seemed to be in trouble early as the Eagles opened a 29-26 lead in the second game, the the Leos’ Tina Hobson came up with a big block and two Eagles errors helped the team to a 33-31 victory that squared the match 1-1. “We stressed that we needed to have more blocks than errors,” Flora said. “Tonight at times we were able to accomplish this, but at other times we didn’t. It’s something that we must work on.” The Leopards were led by Mandy Sedia, Kimberly Fitzsimmons and Lauren Friestad. Sedia, a senior, finished with eight kills. Friestad and Fitzsimmons led the Leopards defense. Friestad led the team with 26 digs and Fitzsimmons had 15. The Leopards struggled offensively at times, collecting only 46 kills and hitting only .112 La Verne also was hurt by 25 errors. “We struggled against their defensive system,” Flora said. “They’re really solid behind their blocks. They forced us to take risks at wrong times.” The Leopards will look to rebound this week with matches against Occidental College and Azusa Pacific University. “This weekend was a great test,” Flora said. “It shows that we need to improve on our passing and offense. We have a great opportunity for improvement entering the second half of the conference.” With the victory, the Eagles earned their second victory this season against the Leopards and extended their winning streak to 12 games as they improved to 17-1. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img The Leopards, 11-6, had a huge opportunity to square the match, leading 29-28 in the fourth game before the Eagles — behind the trio of Amber Thomas, Stephanie Kines and Rachel Schatz — stormed back to win. The trio dominated the net, combining for 70 kills. Thomas had a match-high 20. “We played at times with their middle players,” Leopards coach Don Flora said. “They have two potential All-Americans. It was definitely the difference in the match.” last_img read more

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