Photo by Michael Wong
SAN DIMAS, Calif. (Oct. 15, 2016) – Freshmen Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) led the Caltech volleyball team on both sides of the ball, but the Beavers dropped a close three-setter at LIFE Pacific College on Saturday afternoon.
Lauinger hit a team-best .172 on six kills and added a team-high 13 digs, while Li just missed a double-double with 11 kills and nine digs.
Caltech opened the match with a 5-0 lead and held the margin until LPC posted a 7-1 run to go ahead by one at 10-9. The Warriors soon increased the margin to five as well, but Caltech notched five of the next six points to level the set at 18-18, capped by three consecutive kills from Li. The Beavers were unable to string together consecutive points after that, however, as LPC took the set, 25-21.
The hosts rode the momentum into the second set, taking a 9-2 lead and extending the margin to as many as 13 at 22-9 before a late 9-2 Caltech rally. The Warriors took the second set, 25-18, but found themselves in the tightest battle yet in the third set. Caltech surged out to a 7-4 lead thanks to a pair of aces by freshman Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School), but LPC bounced back with a 7-2 run to move ahead by two at 11-9. Caltech soon flipped the margin and rallied after giving up six unanswered points to post another 6-1 edge to retain a one-point lead at 19-18. LPC called a timeout that proved to be the difference, as the Warriors scored seven of the final nine points to take the set, 25-21, and match.
Walker set for 27 assists and served up two aces while sophomore Sakthi Vetrivel (Redmond, Wash. / Overlake) posted eight kills, nine digs and a solo block. Junior Mayra Melendez (Salinas, Calif. /York) and freshman Mei-Ling Laures (Chicago, Ill. / British Int'l School) combined to make 15 digs in the back row.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers head to Whittier College (7-15 overall, 3-8 SCIAC) on Tuesday, Oct. 18.