Oct. 10, 2009

Courtesy of La Verne

It all came together for the University of La Verne volleyball team Friday night as the squad prevailed over ninth-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-19) at Frantz Athletic Court to highlight first-day action at the Leopard Invitational.

The Leopards dropped the opening set against the Warhawks, but held the visitors to a .051 hitting percentage in the second stanza to win 25-23 and even the match at a set apiece. 

La Verne (11-10) continued momentum in the third set and raced out to leads of 14-7 and 18-10 before Whitewater slowly chipped away at the margin.  Facing a set point at 24-21, the Warhawks tallied three straight points to tie at 24-24.  Both teams traded the four points before La Verne claimed the next two to win 28-26, seizing a 2-1 set lead.

The fourth set saw the Leopards open a 10-6 advantage, but Whitewater (16-4) erased the deficit with a 10-6 run of its own to forge a 16-16 tie.  The Leos however would close it out with a 9-3 spurt to earn their first win over a ranked opponent this season.

La Verne hit .137 for the contest compared to .133 for the visitors.  The Leos also outblocked the Warhawks 10-6.

Rebecca Villanueva led La Verne with 15 kills on a .245 hitting percentage.  Crista Jones tallied 12 kills with Anna Calmer contributing 7 kills.    Ashley Morgado and Kendall Kraiss chipped in with 6 kills each.  Chelsea Sleight collected a match-high 29 digs.   Shaela Hayden totaled 15 kills for the Warhawks.

The win was La Verne's first over Whitewater since the 2001 NCAA Championship match.   The Warhawks had claimed the last three meetings including the 2005 NCAA Semifinal contest en route to earning the national title that season.

Earlier in the day the Leos swept past Nazareth College by scores of 25-14, 25-14, 25-22 as Villanueva compiled 12 kills with Calmer adding 11 in the win.

The Leopards continue action at the Leopard Invitational against New York University at 2 pm followed by a meeting against Chapman University at 7 pm

Tournament Home Page 

La Verne 3, UW-Whitewater 1

La Verne 3, Nazareth 0