PASADENA (Aug. 30, 2019) – The Caltech women's volleyball team played two exciting five-set matches to open the 2019 season against Life Pacific University and Providence Christian College on Friday. Although Caltech came up just short in both matches, the day featured exciting points from the new-look Beavers as well as some massive, record-breaking statistics with the team reaching five sets on each occasion.
Game 1: Life Pacific 3, Caltech 2
Caltech started strong against its first opponent of the day and showed a new level of resiliency in a highly competitive first set. Neither team led by more than four points during this stretch. The Beavers eventually gained the upper hand at 32-32 when a kill from sophomore outside hitter Sydney Richardson (Granite Bay, Calif. / Roseville) and a service ace from senior Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) put the home team up by a set. Although Caltech came up short in sets two and three, the volleyball team showed more resiliency in the fourth set when they took the lead at 12-11 and never looked back. Life Pacific's experience proved to be the difference-maker late, however as the visitors came into the match having already played eight times this year.
Junior Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) made a statement in her first game back from injury, as her 50 assists were not only a career-high but also a new single-game record. Additionally, three players reached double-digit kills including Richardson, along with Lauinger and senior Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) who each led with 14. Sophomore Alison Noyes (Falmouth, Maine / Falmouth) nearly made it four players with double-digit kills, notching nine of her own.
Game 2: Providence Christian 3, Caltech 2
The Beavers found themselves in a similar spot against the Sea Beggars in the second game of the day. Caltech gained a first set lead at 18-17 and never looked back but also came out on top in the third set where they led for most of the way. Once again, the Beavers found themselves against a team with prior match experience coming into the day but this time took an early fourth-set lead. The Sea Beggars went on to take the competitive frame, however, and exhaustion began to set in for the Beavers by the fifth.
Noyes managed to match her Game 1 output with nine more kills to her name while Li and Richardson each had eight. Caltech also benefitted from Maruszko's serve, which yielded six points off service aces. The junior also added an additional 22 assists and eight digs. Sophomore Megan Wang (Henderson, Nev. / Advanced Technologies Academy) led the defense at libero with 19 digs over the five-setter. The Beavers also came up big in the blocks department with 14 assisted blocks between five different players.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers will resume their regular season in a tri-match next Saturday at the University of St. Katherine where they will look to defeat the Firebirds and avenge Friday's defeat to the Sea Beggars.