Posted: Sep 28, 2019
EAGLE ROCK, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2019) – A dominant breakout showing from senior Lauren Li (Bellaire, Texas / Bellaire) keyed the Caltech volleyball team in its second SCIAC win of the season at Occidental College on Saturday afternoon. The victory, a 3-1 triumph, marks the first time the Beavers have ever won a conference game on the road.
Caltech overcame adversity following a back-and-forth first set they ultimately came up on the short end of at 30-28, despite leading 24-20 late in the frame. Li had seven of her 22 kills in the first set and helped set a tone for the rest of the match to follow despite the visiting side falling into a one-set hole early. Li and the Beavers rallied in the second set thanks to a .414 percentage, the team's highest rate of success in a SCIAC single-set all season. Li, along with sophomore Sydney Richardson (Granite Bay, Calif. / Roseville) fueled Caltech's efficiency throughout the match by each hitting .333% over all four sets. Li also led the team with 51 attempts.
The Beavers went on to pull through in the final two sets and proved they are capable of rising to the occasion with a pair of 25-23 victories to seal the deal. Senior Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) and freshman Charley Lafayette (Toronto, Ontario, Can. / Branksome Hall) joined Li and Richardson (12) in double-digit kills (12 and 10 respectively). The freshman middle blocker additionally added to the Beavers' overall efficiency by hitting .300%. Caltech's attack played an extra pivotal role in the victory with the Tigers getting the better end of the majority of exchanges at the net, a strength of the Beavers' in recent weeks. Junior setter Krystyna Maruszko (Redondo Beach, Calif. / Marymount) fed her teammates early and often with 47 assists, a program-best against SCIAC competition while also leading all players with five service aces. Sophomore libero Megan Wang (Henderson, Nev. / Advanced Technologies Academy), meanwhile led an inspired Caltech defense with 25 digs.
Through 12 games, Caltech has improved its attacking ratios, defensive ratios and blocking ratios by a significant margin from one year ago in what has already been the best season in the history of the volleyball program.
Head Coach Tom Gardner and the Beavers will now look to make it consecutive SCIAC wins for the first time ever when they host the University of Redlands on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.