Chapman Defeats Willamette 3-0 at Cal Lu Fornia Invitational

Lauren Stiles (Jr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School)
Lauren Stiles (Jr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Chapman University downed Willamette University, 3-0, in the first round of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Friday, Sept. 9 at Soiland Recreation Center. The Panthers moved past the Bearcats, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17, as Chapman improved to 5-1. Willamette fell to 3-2 on the season. The tournament is being hosted by California Lutheran University.

Sophie Srivastava led the Panthers with a triple-double, as she recorded 13 kills, 13 assists and 10 digs. She hit .500 for the match while committing only three attacking errors and helping Chapman finish with a .361 team hitting percentage. Jessi Lumsden and Courtney Justus each provided CU with eight kills. Lumsden also earned 10 digs. Sara Utsugi supplied a match-high 14 digs for the Panthers, while Kaitlyn Raymundo contributed 24 assists.

Chapman limited Willamette to a .084 team hitting percentage, but had trouble stopping Lauren Stiles (Jr., OH, Altadena, CA/Flintridge Preparatory School) and Jennifer Lane (Jr., MH/OH, Salinas, CA/Notre Dame HS). Stiles topped the Bearcats with nine kills and recorded a .292 hitting percentage with only two attacking errors. She also produced a team-high nine digs. Lane added five kills, one attacking error and a .444 hitting percentage on just nine attacks.

Kendall Fox (Jr., OH, Dupont, WA/Steilacoom HS) also finished with five kills for Willamette. Jaiden Mason (So., S/OPP, Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian School) dished out 21 assists.

The Panthers fought their way to a 10-4 lead in the first set, including seven points on kills. A bit later, Stiles pounded a kill to get Willmette within six points at 16-10, but Chapman answered with an 8-2 run for a 24-12 advantage. WU scored the next point, but the Panthers ended the set with a kill by Mavis Lui.

Willamette and Chapman combined for six ties and four lead changes in the second set. All six ties were achieved near the start of the set, ending with an 8-8 deadlock following a solo block by WU's Jo Stensaas (Sr., MH/OPP, Weed, CA/Weed HS). Two kills by Lauren Friend and one by Lui gave the Panthers an 11-8 lead. A kill from Stiles and a ball-handling error by Chapman allowed WU to cut the margin to 11-10. The Panthers scored the next five  points to begin a 7-1 run for an 18-10 edge.

The Bearcats pulled as close as 20-16 on a kill by Fox. A kill by Srivastava during the next rally opened a set-winning 5-2 surge by the Panthers.

Willamette stayed close to the Panthers for much of the third set and forced four ties, but the Bearcats never took the lead. The score was tied as late as 12-12, and the Bearcats were behind by just one point at 15-14 following a kill from Lane. A kill by Johnson plus a Willamette attacking error provided Chapman with the next two points, but the Bearcats followed with a point of their own to pull within 17-15. Two blocks helped Chapman register the next four points for a 21-15 margin, and the Panthers went on to take a 25-17 win.