CLAREMONT, Calif. - The University of Dallas volleyball team finished the Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday with another pair of matches. After falling in three sets to Kean University, the Crusaders captured their first winning set of 2019 in the third on against Occidental College but lost 3-1.
(MATCH 1: Dallas fell 3-0 to Kean University | 22-25, 21-25, 19-25)
Larissa Ramirez (San Antonio, Texas) started the first set with a service ace and the teams traded points to a 5-5 tie in the early stages before the Cougars tallied five unanswered points to gain control for the majority of the set. Down by four (18-14), the Crusaders got a kill and ace by Abigail Porras (El Paso, Texas), along with three kills by Isabel Garcia (San Antonio, Texas) that were part of a 7-2 run to lift them up 21-20. Krystyn Pua (Escondido, Calif.) served consecutive aces after starting serve in a 3-0 run that gave UD the brief advantage. Kean finished the last push with four straight points and five-of-six to claim the closest set of the day.
Down as many as eight (19-11) in the second set, the Crusaders rallied for 10 of the next 14 points to narrow the gap to 23-21. Out of a Kean timeout, Zoe Strozewski and Brianna Calvano ended the set with kills. Dallas held a pair of one-point leads through the first five serves of the last set, but would be ousted by six.
Dallas posted a season-high (at the time) 36 kills with double-digit totals in all three frames. Porras hit a .292 kill percentage and had a personal-best on the year 10 kills. Garcia contributed eight. Ramirez finished with 20 assists.
Kean hit .379 overall with 47 kills. Strozewski hit a game-high 12 kills, while Jesse Larkin and Sedona Gaard chipped in 11 apiece. Calvano made out with 38 assists.
(MATCH 2: Dallas fell 3-1 to Occidental College | 18-25, 25-27, 25-16, 18-25)
After falling in the first set, the Crusaders matched a season-best for kills in a set with 15 in the second and third ones. In the second set, UD went in front 7-4 on a kill by Ellise Anable (Phoenix, Ariz.) before the Tigers came back with three in a row to knot the set. There were 11 ties in the set that went extra points. Down 21-20, UD scored four points to make it 24-21. Occidental rallied for six-of-seven points to grab the 2-0 lead.
The Crusaders responded with their best set of the young campaign with a 2-1 advantage that never saw them trail from after that juncture. UD went up as many as 10 (19-9, 21-11, 22-12) in the big frame. The Crusaders were kept the early part of the fourth set tied at four, but allowed Occidental to pull away with what included a 7-0 surge to secure the match.
The Crusaders managed a 49-41 edge in total kills but were outhit .130 to .040 in the game, as Occidental had half as many attack errors. A quartet of Dallas players reached double-digits led by Anable with 12. Porras surpassed her season-high by one (11) and had a double-double in digs and kills with Anable as the duo pulled up 13 apiece. Dayjah Whyte (Round Rock, Texas) and Garcia finished off the top hitting unit with season-highs 11 and 10, respectively. Ramirez also managed a personal-best in the young season for assists (39). Pua anchored the defense with 26 digs and Garcia also had a season-high four service aces, which is one off of her career-best from 2018 (Oct. 20 vs. Schreiner).
Taylor Gorretta and Madelene Sellergren paced the Tigers with 11 kills each. Lara Minassians had 32 assists. Occidental finished with six solo blocks and 13 block assists with a trio of players having at least three.
Dallas heads to Jackson, Mississippi, for another two-day event that includes four matches in the Millsaps/Belhaven Invitational.