Tigers Fight But Fall 3-1 At Saint Mary's
Playing on the road for the third-straight match, the Pacific women's volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Oct. 5. The loss for the Tigers dropped their record to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in the WCC while the Gaels improved to 8-5 on the year and 4-1 in conference play
Set scores for the match were: 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20.
Looking for their first road win of the year, the Tigers got off to a rough start against the Gaels as Saint Mary's opened the first set of the day with six straight points. Despite the poor start, the Tigers fought their way back into the set as Pacific took control of the pins behind sophomore Kat Schulz. With Schulz rallying off a handful of kills the Tigers battled back and pushed their way past the Gaels to take a 21-17 lead late in the frame. However, the opening set victory was not to be as Saint Mary's rallied itself behind an 8-1 run that stunned Pacific and put the Tigers in a hole.
As they did in set one, the Gaels again used a late rally in set two to put themselves ahead two sets to none heading into the extended break. As with the opening frame, the two teams played close until midway through the set when Saint Mary's broke open a one point, 16-15, contest with a 4-0 run. They would close out the frame on a 5-0 rally to capture the set.
Down big, the Tigers came out swinging in set three, building a seven-point lead before the Gaels could respond. Pacific did its damage with a 12-3 run early that turned a 7-5 hole into a comfortable 17-10 lead. During the run, Pacific rallied behind its junior middle Gillian Howard who tallied three kills and a pair of blocks to build the lead. With the large lead, Pacific was able to withstand a late charge by the Gaels that closed the gap to within two at 22-20 before the Tigers were able to finish off the set at the pins with a pair of kills.
While the Tigers held the momentum from their first road set win of the year in set three, it was the Gaels who opened the fourth set on fire as Saint Mary's built a four-point advantage early behind a nearly flawless attack. Despite the hole, Pacific once again battled back, evening the set multiple times only to be denied. For the Gaels, it was another 5-0 run that finished the afternoon off after Pacific had tied the contest at 20-20 with back-to-back points.
Overall, the Tigers were led offensively by sophomore Anne-Sophie Bauer who posted a season-best 13 kills on .333 hitting while adding 13 digs. The sophomore recorded her first double-double of the year in her first start as she took over the leftside for the Tigers. Outside of Bauer, Howard and Schulz each tallied 12 kills while Howard added a team-best three blocks and Schulz posted eight digs. Freshman Lexi Elman, who started as Pacific's libero for the first time, recorded a team season-best 24 digs while sophomore setter Kimmy Whitson finished the day with 41 assists and 14 digs to go along with seven kills and two blocks.
For the Gaels, Jordan Shaw led the way with 16 digs and 16 blocks while Samantha Tinsely posted 16 kills and 12 digs. Just behind the duo was middle blocker Madelyn Hutson who just missed the double-double with 13 kills and nine blocks. As a team, the Gaels outhit the Tigers .255-to-.245 and picked up 11.0 total blocks to Pacific's 6.0.
Pacific will head home to the Spanos Center on Thursday, Oct. 10 when the Tigers host Pepperdine in WCC action. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m.