ANGWIN, Calif.- Women's volleyball hosted UC Merced Friday afternoon, and desite early signs of promise, the Pioneers fell to the visiting Bobcats in four sets 29-27, 22-25, 8-25, 15-25.
The first set featured some of the most exciting volleyball the Pioneers have played this season. No team established any type of significant lead in the set, with many lead changes indicating a back and forth affair. Amanda Loeffler (SR/Hilo Town, HI) had a large influence on this first set, showing why she has become such a vital part of the Pioneer team. Her big hitting led the way for the Pioneers, who were able to win the set 29-27.
The Pioneers opened up the second set with great defensive play. Like the first set, both the Bobcats and Pioneers struggled to gain dominance. UC Merced began to assert control behind the serves from libero Madison Mayoralgo, who led her team on a 5-1 run enabling the Bobcats to take a 25-22 victory in set two.
The Pioneers got off to a slow start during the third set, unable to answer the strong play of the Bobcats, who were led by Jade Fachin and Rachael Schaefer. The Bobcats ran away with the set, winning it 25-8 and taking a 2-1 lead.
The Pioneers looked to battle back and even the sets up, and their determination was reflected through their defense. The Pioneers were unable to get the set going however, and the Bobcats took the set, 25-15, winning the match 3-1.
The Pioneers were led by Amanda Loeffler with 15 kills and 15 digs on the day. Morgan Spencer (SO/Kailua, HI) posted eleven kills while Lauren Purdom (SR/Murrieta, CA) adding five kills. Hannah Clarke (JR/Glendora, CA) tallied 19 assists, and behind the ten-foot line Chase Rogers finished the match with 16 defensive digs.
Pioneers resume play at home against the University of Antelope Valley on Saturday September 30 at 8:00 PM.