Tigers Sweep Away Winthrop To Start Day Two
Picking up where they left off from the first day of the 35th annual Community Bankers Classic, the Pacific women's volleyball team dominated their second straight match with a 3-0 sweep over Winthrop on Saturday, Sept. 14. The win moved the Tigers' record to 6-4 on the year and 2-0 at the tournament while the Eagles fell to 7-2 on the year and 1-1 in Stockton.
Set scores for the match were: 25-18, 25-13, 25-16.
Getting off to a fast start, Pacific ran off the first four points of the set behind their senior in the middle, Jennifer Sanders. In the opening four points, Sanders established Pacific's dominance in the middle as she grabbed one kill and a pair of blocks. The 4-0 run would turn into a 7-1 start before Winthrop could react. Battling back, the Eagles climbed to within one twice midway through the frame only to be held back by Pacific's attack. Again is was Sanders, joined by sophomore Kat Schulz and senior Megan Birch, who gave Pacific some breathing room a they each tallied a kill in a 4-0 run that pushed the Tigers' lead to 17-12. Pacific held the advantage built off the run the rest of the way.
In the set, the middles controlled the court for Pacific as Sanders was 4-for-4 offensively and added two blocks while Howard posted three kills on five attacks. Additionally, Birch picked up where she left off the night before and tagged the Eagles for four kills in the opening set. She would finish with nine kills.
After a quick start and blow away finish in set one, the Tigers found themselves in a fight early in set two with the Eagles as the two teams traded points and mini runs. However, just as they did midway through the first set, Pacific turned it on in set two to turn a one point lead into a five point advantage. The mini run was only momentarily interrupted as Pacific buried the Eagles by scoring 14 of the final 18 points and running away with the set 25-13. Again it was the middle the dominated play as Howard threw down five kills in five attempts and added a pair of blocks for good measure.
Using the script they wrote over the first two sets the Tigers employed the same strategy in the third and final set to run away with the match. Leading by just one at 8-7, Pacific grabbed seven of the next nine points to suffocate the Eagles at 15-9 and never look back.
Overall the day was dominated by Sanders and Howard in the middle as the two went 20-for-29 offensively, evenly splitting the kills and producing no errors. Additionally, the duo controlled the Eagles' offense with nine of Pacific's 10.5 blocks as the Tigers held the Eagles to .120 hitting. Overall, Pacific hit .365 led by Sanders' career-best .769 hitting as she went 10-for-13 offensively.
Pacific will be back in action later in the night as the Tigers look to take their fourth-straight Bankers Classic title when they play San Jose State. The match is scheduled for 7:00 pm depending on the finish of the first match at 5:00 pm. Earlier in the day, the Spartans picked up their first win of the tournament by beating UC Riverside in three.