Claremont, CA- St. Lucy's assured itself a bid to CIF and are one win away from clinching at least a share of the Sierra League title with tonight's straight set win over Claremont. The Regents were able to gut out the win 25-23, 25-23, and 25-17, thanks in large part to the mini-pit of student support. But it did not come easy.
The Regents spotted the Wolfpack a 5-0 lead to start out set one with two balls dropping between players, two hitting errors and one passing error. After finally siding out, St. Lucy's gave the ball right back on a service error and fell behind 6-1. Then the Regents started to slowly find their game. Creeping back into it 4-7, then 7-10, each time stopping themselves with unforced errors. St. Lucy's caught up to the Pack at 11 and took their first lead 13-12. Gina Valvo was frustrating the Regent hitters, picking up dig after dig of hard driven balls. Janie Feldsher crushed a quick set out of the middle and then served one up that was too hot for the Regents to handle, and the Wolves were back in the lead 16-14. A perfect pass on serve receive by Roni LaPierre, led to a perfect set by Juliet McClure, which led to a brilliant kill by Loryn Carter, and the student section erupted as the Regent's cut the lead 16-17. The game was tied at 17, 19 and 20 before the Regents were able to pull away after Sarah Bruchet saved a ball with an amazing 1-arm dig; Regents went ahead 22-20. Claremont called time-out, but Carter was not distracted. She came back with a smoking cross court kill to extend the lead 23-20. The Pack picked up the next two points and it was the Regent's turn to take some time to talk, sitting on a one point edge. LaPierre put the next one down cross court to give the Regents set point 24-22. Feldsher answered by tooling the block; 24-23. Carter finished with a shot down the line off of the Claremont block. Regents escape with set one 25-23.
The teams started out set two playing evenly, trading points and side outs. After 3/3, the Regents started to step it up. Sydney Bast's roll shot over the block gave St. Lucy's an 8-3 edge and was Claremont's cue to have a chat. The Pack seemed to settle down after that, crawling back into the set and tying it up at 14. Suddenly, it was Claremont with the momentum (and the benefit of a few non-calls) and it was the Regents taking a time-out to discuss things trailing 15-17. The Regents came back to tie it at 17, and it was a tug-of-war from there. Feldsher ran a nice slide for a kill and creamed another shot straight down. Carter smoked a few cross court and Bast flew above the net and destroyed one cross court. Lucy's took the late lead 23-21 on tough serving by LaPierre and the Pack called a time out to put her on ice. It worked, as the next serve went into the net, 23-22 Regents. Maybe it worked too well, as the Wolfpack's next serve also went into the net, giving the Regents set point. The Wolves held the Regents off for one more point, but ultimately, St. Lucy's won a scrappy battle at the net for the set 25-23.
Set 3 started out like set 1, with the Regents chasing the Wolves. St. Lucy's finally grabbed the lead at 6-5 on an ace by Bast, and they never let it go. Claremont stayed close through the mid-point, narrowing the lead to 2 points on a straight down smash by their freshman middle. The Regent sophomore opposite roofed the next attempt, then dug a roll shot, that McClure set out to Bast, who rolled it to the corner to give the Regents a commanding 21-17 lead. CHS took a time out here, after which the Regents kept marching. Carter pounded a shot through the seam and LaPierre put away a back court attack. Time out number two for the Wolves, who were now down 23-17, had the same effect as time out number one. The Regents returned with another Carter smash in the seam, and another back row attack by LaPierre to finish the match. Regent win set 3, 25-17.
Tonight's win guaranteed the Regents at least a second place finish in League and a bid to CIF. Tonight's stat leaders were Juliet McClure (37 assists, 1 block), Loryn Cater (15 kills, 1 block), Rachael Cavanaugh (5 kills, 2 blocks), Roni LaPierre (17 kills, 8 digs), Sydney Bast (9 kills, 8 digs), Sarah Bruchet (20 digs) and Natalie Caro (13 digs.) The Regents will face South Hills on Thursday, at home - Senior Night. Come out and celebrate our fabulous senior class.