GLENDORA, CA- The Regents put on the pink tonight and charged to the top of the league in a straight sets victory over previously undefeated in league Chino Hills. This was St. Lucy's Dig Pink Rally match; a match dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer and raising funds for SideOut Foundation. The evening was full of color, spectacle, singing, raffles, and above all, great volleyball. The Regents were lucky to get away with the sweep, as the first two sets were highly competitive and could have gone either way.
The volleyball that was being played on both sides of the net in set one was better than any we have seen in a while. Chino Hills put the Regents on notice early that they would be fighting like girls to win every point with a strong block that effectively rejected the Regent hitting attempts. Loryn Carter started finding the floor with well timed tip shots and Sydney Bast just plain went off, hitting the seams, tooling the much bigger block and finding a way to score for St. Lucy's. The teams stayed within a point of each other from 14 through 21. The Huskies took the late lead, 22-21, and had control of the serve when the Regents took to the sideline to chat. After the time out, Bast crushed one down the line to knot it at 22. Bast stepped up to serve a side out later with the teams tied at 23. Can you say ACE? Syd can, and did. Roni LaPierre put the next one down with a nifty roll shot off of the block and the Regents secured the come from behind victory 25-23.
Set two started out all Husky. They jumped out to a 7-4 lead, which was capped off by an ace by libero Darby Minton. The Regents struggled to find their equilibrium as they watched the Husky lead grow to 11-5. Coach Douglas' time out could not have come at a better time and did the team a world of good. They started to chip away at the Chino Hills lead with good patient defense and solo blocks from Juliet McClure and Rachael Cavanaugh. The Regents got to within one point, 12-13, when Chino Hills made another run. The Husky 16-12 lead had the Regents taking a second time out. Kudos to Coach Douglas again, as the Regents came out of the time out and caught up to the Huskies with a nice service run by LaPierre. LaPierre's ace to go ahead 17-16 was the first lead that the Regents enjoyed since the first points of the set. It was a tug-of-war from there: Chino Hills got up two, 20-18. The Regents came back and tied it at 20. And so it went until the Regents were sitting on a 23-22 lead with the serve. Bast served an ace to get the Regents to set point, then she served another ace to finish the set. (Told you she could say "ACE".) The Regents won set two 25-22.
Set three started off with scramble play won by the Huskies. Natalie Caro got the Regents on the board with a tip shot and LaPierre's big kill gave the Regents the first lead at 3-2. The Huskies seemed a little discombobulated and got called out of rotation to give the Regents a 5-3 lead. Alexis Cardoza got a big kill to put the Huskies back on track. LaPierre slowed Chino Hills down a bit with successive back row kills. The Huskies stayed close with the slide and strong outside hitting and tied it up at 8. Bast bounced the next shot off of a Husky player to spark a Regent run. Caro got into the action with a kill, as did Brennen Miller, who came in as a serving specialist and scored an ace. LaPierre's solo block gave the Regents the 13-9 edge and had Chino Hills calling time out. The Regents were not backing down. Carter came back with a tool of the block and an empty court kill; Caro made a HUGE dig that resulted in a Bast kill, and then served up a hat trick of aces (3 in a row.) Despite a great down the line kill by Erica Gumz, another strong kill by Cardoza and a beautiful slide attack by Janessa Thropay, the Huskies could not break the Regents. Bast had to wait for the Huskies to finish their parade of subs before serving the match point. It did not matter who was on the other side of the net though, as Bast closed out the match with yet another ace. Regents win 25-15.
The Regents have sole possession of the league lead as they go into the second half of the season as the only undefeated team. Tonight's stat leaders were Sydney Bast (4 aces, 17 kills, 10 digs), Roni LaPierre (13 kills, 13 digs, 1 ace), Loryn Carter (8 kills, 1 block, 3 digs) Natalie Caro (3 kills, 7 digs, 3 aces), Sarah Bruchet (11 digs) and Juliet McClure (35 assists, 6 digs, 1 block.)