California (Pa.) takes out Clarion to move along to third round
WHEELING, W.Va. -- Senior Molly Delaney and junior Laurel Miller both recorded kill/dig double-doubles, as the third-seeded Vulcans advanced to the Atlantic Regional championship with a 3-0 win (25-15, 25-22, 25-20) against second-seeded Clarion on Friday evening.
With the victory, the California (Pa.) improves to 30-8 overall and reaches the 30-win plateau for the eighth time in the last nine years. Meanwhile, Clarion finishes the year with a 32-5 mark after making its 10th appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2002.
Miller registered a match-high 17 kills and added 13 digs on Friday evening, while Delaney tallied 12 kills and 14 digs in the sweep. Both players recorded their 17th kill/dig double-double of the season, including a combined seven double-doubles in post-season play. Sophomore Mary Lavery added eight kills and classmate Miranda Fouzie finished with a team-best four blocks.
Senior Abbey Freund collected her fifth assist/dig double-double of the year, tallying 17 assists and 10 digs, while freshman Kristen Scurpa also engineered the offense with 17 assists. Sophomore Samantha Rudy rounded out a quartet in double-digit digs, posting 10 digs against Clarion.
The Vulcans powered to a 25-15 victory in the first set after recording an impressive .438 hitting percentage on 32 attempts. Each team earned back-to-back points to open play before trading the next eight points. Clarion would win three of four points to take an 8-7 lead before Cal U won three consecutive points to take a 10-8 lead. After the Golden Eagles won back-to-back points, the Vulcans seized control of the set with an 8-1 rally to take a 23-13 lead. Miller and Delaney each tallied six kills in the opening set and Cal U committed only two errors.
Miller again keyed the offensive attack in the second set, as Cal U earned a 25-22 win after the teams combined for seven ties and five lead changes. The Vulcans posted a 9-3 run early in the set to take a 13-8 lead before each team won back-to-back points. Clarion then won seven of the next eight points to take a 17-16 lead before Cal U responded with an 8-3 rally to claim a 24-20 lead.
The Vulcans completed the sweep after limiting the Golden Eagles to only a .061 hitting percentage in the third set. Leading 6-4, Cal U took control of the set with an 11-1 run behind a run of seven consecutive points served by sophomore Taylor Melidona. The Golden Eagles countered with a 7-1 rally to trim the deficit to 16-14 before the Vulcans earned two of the next three points. The teams then traded the next eight points and Cal U later won the last three points to seal the victory.