GLENDORA, CA- The St. Lucy Regents battled the Ayala Bulldogs and came away from this dog fight with nary a scratch. It was a straight set victory for the Regents: 25-11, 25-12, 25-21.
Set one was a demonstration of tough serving and excellent ball control by the Regents. Juliet McClure got the Regents started off with several of her eight aces on the night. The Regents were up 8-0 on McClure's serve. The Bulldogs finally got on the board when Sam Bozoian made the Regents pay for an overpass with a crushing kill. The Bulldogs were not able to overcome the early deficit and make a game of it. Rachel Cavanaugh put the final point down hard out of the middle to close out the set 25-11.
The Regents jumped out to an early lead again in set 2 with tenacious defense and an ability to make something out of nothing. Even with confusion, miscommunication and out of system play, the Regents finished the points to their advantage. The Regents were up 9-2 before Ayala began to put up a fight. Unfortunately for Ayala, they found their fight a little too late. The Regents maintained a seven or more point advantage throughout and ended the set on a Natalie Caro ace for the 25-12 finish.
A different Ayala team showed up for set 3. This team stayed within three points of the Regents in the early going. When it appeared that the Regents were going to take off and had extended their lead to 5, 16-11, Ayala took a time out. After the time out, the Bulldogs battled back to within 2 points, trailing 17-19 after a Regent serving error. Roni LaPierre tooled the block to get the side out and McClure served back-to-back aces to return the lead to five. Ayala was not going to go down without a fight. Outside hitter Cheyenne sent a cross-court shot down to cut the lead to 4, 18-22. LaPierre responded with a nice touch shot between the block, 23-18. The Bulldogs came back with a sweet miss-hit that went down to chip further into the lead 19-23. Bozoian crushed the Regent overpass to pull within 3, 20-23. After a St. Lucy timeout, Ayala put their serve into the net and gave the Regents the first match point, 24-20. Ayala still had some fight in them as Erin Clark put up a perfect set that Bozoian knocked down cross court to deny the Regents the match. Serving to stay in the match, Ayala sent the ball into the net, ending the match in the Regents favor 25-21.
The St. Lucy stat leaders for the evening were Juliet McClure (8 aces, 30 assists, 8 digs), Loryn Carter (2 blocks, 11 kills), Natalie Caro (3 aces, 6 digs), Roni LaPierre (15 kills, 8 digs) and Sydney Bast (2 aces, 2 blocks, 8 kills and 13 digs.) The Regents stay undefeated in league and take on Claremont on Thursday.