Pacific Women's Vollebyall: Early Start Not Enough As The Tigers Fall In Four To No. 21 Michigan
Playing against the No. 21 ranked Michigan Wolverines just hours after a tough five game loss to Arizona State, the Pacific women's volleyball team could not pull the upset on Saturday, September 18 as they fell 3-1 at the ASU Sheraton Tournament. The was the second straight for the Tigers and dropped their overall record to 7-4 and their tournament record to 1-2 while the Wolverines improved to 11-1 on the year and took the tournament championship with a perfect 3-0 mark.
Game scores for the match were: 16-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-19.
Still playing with their adrenaline from their first match two hours prior, the Tigers came out quickly against Michigan, running away with game one to take the early lead. From the outset, Pacific jumped ahead and never looked back as the Tigers took advantage of the middle of the court against the Wolverines behind the attack of sophomore Gabby Cowden(Danville, Calif.). The sophomore middle blocker put up four kills in seven swings in the game for the Tigers as Pacific hit .250 as a team while holding Michigan to just a .108 hitting percentage.
Led by their junior outside hitter Alex Hunt, the Wolverines wasted little time playing their way back into the match against the Tigers. After throwing down seven kills in 14 attacks with only one error in the first game, Hunt put together a dominating performance at the net in games two and three, recording 12 kills and no errors in 22 combined attacks. With Hunt in nearly perfect form, the Wolverines were able to stake big early leads against the Tigers in both the second and third games of the match as they took control, leading 2-1. In game two alone, the Tigers found themselves outhit by the Wolverines, .480 to -.059.
Down in the match, the Tigers tried to battle back in what would be the fourth and final game of the evening as they stayed alongside of the Wolverines throughout the midway point in the game before finally succumbing to the play of Michigan and the fatigue that was setting in from their ninth game of volleyball in seven hours time. Down just one at 16-15, the Tigers fell behind by four, a gap they would not be able to close, behind the serve of Hunt as the lefty picked up her fourth ace of the evening during the run while also serving the Tigers out of system leading to instant offense for Michigan.
Overall, senior Svenja Engelhardt (Sinsheim, Germany) tried to play shot for shot with Hunt, coming up just short, however, as she finished the night with 17 kills. For the match, Engelhardt hit .406 at the net as she committed just four errors on 32 attacks. The senior also added one ace and six digs to the Tigers' efforts. Sophomore Hannah Clancy (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) finished with her fifth double-double of the year and second in as many matches as she tallied 27 assists and 11 digs in the loss.
For the Wolverines, it was the Alex Hunt show as she tallied 23 kills and two errors in 43 swings to finish with a .488 hitting percentage. In addition, Hunt posted four aces, four blocks and eight digs.
The Tigers will start Big West Conference play on Thursday, September 23 when they host Northern California rival UC Davis at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.