Sluggish Starts Too Much For Tigers To Overcome As They Fall To San Jose State
Stockton, Calif. - Entering the 2011 Hilton Stockton Invitational as the tournament's reigning champion, the Pacific women's volleyball team's hope for a repeat title took a serious hit on the opening night of the tournament as they fell 3-1 to San Jose State on Thursday, September 15. The loss dropped the Tigers to 7-4 and 0-1 in the tournament while the Spartans improved to 3-6 overall and 1-0 at the invitational.
Game scores for the match were: 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23.
Sluggish from the start, the Tigers never could find their way against the Spartans who capatialized on Pacific's mistakes with solid defense and timely hitting. In the first set, the Tigers fell behind by four early before rallying back to within one point at 16-15. Despite the small rally, the Spartans used a 6-1 run to push their lead back to a comfortable margin an capture the opening game. Propelling the Spartans early was Savanah Leaf who posted seven kills in 16 swings to counter senior Samantha Misa's best efforts of a nearly perfect opening game of eight killls and no errors in 14 attacks.
Down a game, the Tigers still could not find their rhythm as the Spartans held Pacific's offense to just .070 hitting in the game while posting a .214 clip themselves. Just as with the first game, the Tigers worked out of an early hole to tie the game at 15-15 before a 5-0 run by the Spartans put Pacific away for good in the game.
With their backs against the wall, the Tigers put together their best game of the night, hitting .289 and committing just two errors at the net to pick up their first game victory. Again, though, the Tigers were forced to play from behind as the Spartans opened up a five point lead midway through the match and held a four point lead at 18-14 before Pacific's offense kicked into high gear. Finishing the game on an 11-3 run, the Tigers looked as if they were turning the tides of the match.
However, what looked like a spark for Pacific turned out to be a misfire as the Spartans put together their best game of the night in the fourth game to put the Tigers away. As they had done all night against the Tigers, San Jose State came up with the big plays when they were needed as the Spartans overcame a late 23-22 lead by Pacific to capture the match.
Overall, the Tigers put just one hitter in double figures as Misa posted a match-high 21 kills on 64 swings while hitting .234. The senior picked up her fourth double-double of the season as she added 15 digs to her totals on the defensive end. Just behind Misa was junior Gabby Cowden who tallied nine kills on just 17 swings with one error for a .471 hitting percentage. Junior Hannah Clancy added her sixth double-double of the year with 45 assists and 14 digs while senior Rebekah Torres posted 24 digs to lead the Tigers defensively.
For the Spartans, the night was owned by Leaf who tied Misa for the top spot on the kills list with 21 kills in 57 swings. She too posted a double-double as she added 14 digs on the defensive end. Taylor Japhet posted 11 kils and 16 digs while Alex Akana finished her night with 12 kills. Caitlin Andrade, the Spartans' starting setter finished with a double-double as well as she tallied 51 assists and 21 digs.
Pacific will be back in action on Friday, September 16, as they take on Loyola Marymount in their second match of the Hilton Stockton Invitational. The tournament will continue on Friday morning when Loyola Marymount takes on UC Riverside at 10:00 am.