Pasadena, Calif. – Senior Sakthi Vetrivel (Redmond, Wash. / Overlake) recorded a season-high 11 kills as the Caltech volleyball team scored the most points in a SCIAC match in four years in a 3-0 loss against Whittier College on Friday evening.
Caltech scored more points (54) across the three sets than in any SCIAC match since Sept. 29, 2012, when the Beavers put up 56 , which coincidentally also came against the Poets.
Rookie Ellie Walker (Minneapolis, Minn. / Blake School) also set for a career-high 7.0 assists per set with 21 total while classmate Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) recorded 14 digs and also served two aces. Freshman Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) added 12 digs for her fifth match in double figures and junior Rachel Ng (Millbrae, Calif. / Mills) served the other three of Caltech's seven aces, also combining with senior Suzannah Osekowsky (Saratoga, Calif. / Saratoga) to register four kills on just 10 attacks.
The Beavers started slowly in the first set, falling behind the Poets before pulling back within two. Whittier regained its early advantage and maintained the lead for the whole set, winning 25-16.
Despite an advantage in hitting percentages in the second set, .133 to .091, Caltech was unable to hold an early 7-4 lead. Whittier rallied off eight straight points to take a 12-7 lead which the Poets would not give up, eventually taking the set, 25-19.
Caltech started the third set strong and kept the score close through an 11-11 score that included five ties and three lead changes, but the Poets then built themselves a safe margin that withstood a final Beavers rally to take the set, 25-19, and match.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers head to the University of Redlands on Saturday, Sept. 24 for a tri-match with the host Bulldogs and UC Santa Cruz.