PUC volleyball was unable to grab the win at home against conference opponents Menlo College, falling in four sets 26-24, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20.
The opening set began well for the Pioneers, who looked to assert themselves early with aggressive play and good defense. Amanda Loeffler was effective from the start on both the offensive and defensive end. However, Menlo's organized defense allowed them to keep pace with the Pioneers, and the set was back and forth, with niether side pulling away. An already competitive set became even more intense, as the Pioneers led the match 25-24. With the set on point on the line, Karissa Carlson executed a vicious kill after a long rally, to secure the set for PUC 26-24.
The Oaks responded in the second set, putting together a good run to jump to a 10-6 lead. The Pioneers continued their good defensive effort, but were unable to generate points consistently early in the set. Menlo led 21-16 late in the set, but the Pioneers, partially galvanized by a Chace Rogers ace, put together a run of their own, pulling within two points of the Oaks. However, the visitors were able to hold their lead, winning the set 25-21.
The Pioneers started well in the third set, going up 6-3 early. Menlo rebounded, putting together an impressive run and stifling the Pioneer's offensive momentum. PUC gave effort to keep the set competitive, but the Oaks were able to take the third set 25-15.
PUC shook their offensive struggles, starting the fourth set with impressive attacking play and coordinated defensive effort to jump ahead 7-1. Menlo were determined to win the set however, and the visitors put together a 5-0 run to close the gap and take the lead over the Pioneers. The set remained close, but Menlo were able to grab the win, 25-20, winning the game three sets to one.
Amanda Loeffler led the Pioneers with 14 kills, while also tallying 12 digs. Lauren Purdom added 10 kills, while Spencer Morgan tallied 8 kills. Hannah Clarke led the way with 25 assists, while Chace Rogers led the defense with 22 digs.
The Pioneers will be back in action on Saturday, October 7 at 8:00 pm, as they travel north to take on Simpson University.